This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Total disbelief consumed me when I read the Salt Lake Tribune op-ed by Attorney General Swallow and Assistant Attorney General Anthony Rampton: "Trusting Washington is too risky for Utah," Oct. 15.
They stated that federal government closure of national parks is evidence that governance of federal land in Utah would be better left to Utahns than to Washingtonians, who "simply do no understand or appreciate the effects that their far-removed decisions have on rural Utah."
Meanwhile, Sen. Mike Lee and the rest of the Utah congressional delegation is largely responsible for the hurt that's been inflicted upon Utah military families, people whose livelihoods are dependent on the national parks, and countless others. These powerful Utahns have chosen to cripple the global economy and hurt millions of hard-working individuals just so that they can continue to deny their less fortunate fellow citizens health care.
If the federal government wasn't overseeing what goes on in Utah, our national parks would probably be private hunting camps, public lands would be sold to the developer with the most friends at the state capitol, and some tax-exempt entity would be drilling for oil, building a nuclear power plant, or otherwise poisoning the air and water of every one who lives here.
The op-ed should have been titled "Sending self-serving zealots to represent our state In Washington is too risky for Utah." It's just too bad that Washington isn't a better watchdog.
Beverly Hurwitz M.D.