Herbert's obsession

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Gov. Gary Herbert's aversion to Utah's federal lands, as analyzed in Peter Metcalf's "Herbert no friend of recreation businesses" (Opinion, Sept. 30), is the epitome of Republican anti-wilderness dogma and of the short-term profits reaped by extractive industries that stuff Herbert's bloated political coffers with more campaign cash.

Herbert obviously doesn't understand or care that tourism is Utah's most lucrative industry. Unlike the boom-and-bust economies of mining and drilling, tourism creates long-term employment opportunities for myriad businesses throughout urban and rural Utah.

Moreover, decimating public lands for short-term profit creates tax burdens on Utah and U.S. taxpayers, who are left with the expense of reclamation after extractive industries glean every available resource and vacate the land.

Herbert's obsession with sequestering Utah's federal lands and wilderness areas and placing them in the avaricious hands of the state is the embodiment of Republicans' anti-environmental agenda and their loathing of federal government.

For those who are proponents of Utah wilderness and the aesthetic value of public lands, Gen. Peter Cooke, a champion of federal land and its numerous benefits, is unequivocally a far better candidate for governor than Gary Herbert.

Allen Livingston