In response to a request by the Outdoor Industry Association and 100 related businesses that President Barack Obama protect the greater Canyonlands area by creating a national monument, Utah's GOP members of Congress called for "balance" ("Utah's GOP delegation to Obama: Say no to monument," Tribune, Nov 15.).
I believe in balance. Here is one way to create balance in Utah: Drill for oil and gas in the Uintah Basin and protect the stunning scenery and superlative recreational opportunities of greater Canyonlands.
As one outdoor industry leader said, greater Canyonlands is to the outdoor recreation industry what the Uintah Basin is to natural gas.
Protecting greater Canyonlands with a national monument would preserve a place of unparalleled beauty. It would sustain the recreation and tourism economy that is so important to the region.
National monuments do not preclude motorized travel, as some claim. Rather, a greater Canyonlands monument would provide thousands of miles of dirt roads and routes for 4-wheeling and biking, as well as places to hike, climb, canyoneer, raft, hunt, fish and horseback ride. Yes, a monument would preclude scenery-scarring mining and drilling, but that can happen in more appropriate areas.
What better way to create "balance"?