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Letter: Utah is right about wilderness and feds

Published June 13, 2014 4:52 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

State officials are correct. The feds are illegally closing off leasing and road-building in areas that aren't wilderness on both BLM and Forest Service administered lands.

Your editorial ("No end in sight in Utah wilderness battle," June 10) states that Reagan signed the Utah Wilderness Act of 1984, a bill signed by Utah Republican Sens. Jake Garn and Orrin Hatch to set aside 750,000 acres of national forest land in Utah as wilderness in a compromise that also freed other forest lands for development.

That was true. However, you failed to mention the 2001 roadless rule that, for all practical purposes, eliminated active forest management on half (4 million acres out of 8 million acres) of National Forest System lands in Utah.

In my view, Utah's BLM suit is more than posturing." Many of these lands do not have "wilderness characteristics." They contain long existing roads that the BLM cannot, will not or has yet to recognize.

In my years of reading about natural resource issues "by the Tribune Editorial Board," you seem to be on the side of SUWA and the Sierra Club and want all of or most of these public lands undeveloped (managed by God, rather than God and man).

Active management of our public lands and our renewable resources (wood, water, forage, wildlife and recreation) is essential if we are to protect, manage and use them over time. It is a shame to go to Home Depot and buy a pine stair tread made in China while our un-managed wood and forage burn in Utah.

Jim Trenholm





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