This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated.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.
As someone who lives on a multi-generational family farm in eastern Utah, I understand the importance of protecting our water resources and public lands. In arid Utah, water is the lifeblood of ranching, farming and rural communities. We count on our public lands in countless ways every day.
That's why, when it comes to oil shale development, we first understand how it would impact water and natural resources before allowing it to move forward.
Under the Interior Department's plan, plenty of oil shale resources will continue to be made available for companies to try and figure out how to make it work. Until a viable method is discovered, however, and until the impacts are fully known and addressed, we should not be in the business of leasing our public lands for commercial oil shale development.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who comes from a Western, multi-generational ranching and farming family, demonstrates that he gets it when it comes to managing our water and public lands.