This is an archived article that was published on in 2010, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

We read with interest "Wilderness debate: Is Utah at a turning point" (Tribune, Aug. 26). As longtime Moab residents with decades-long interest in southern Utah's public lands, we've been following the San Juan County public lands process since Sen. Bob Bennett instigated it last spring.

Our impression was that stakeholder groups would present information and proposals to Bennett and other stakeholders to see if a consensus could be reached, and that San Juan County was but one of the stakeholders.

Instead of a legitimate public process with field trips and public hearings, county commissioners appear to be developing their own proposal, which they will hand off to Bennett to force through the legislative process prior to his leaving office.

A fast-track, closed-door process like that which seems to be moving forward is no way to determine the future of these outstanding lands that are like nowhere else in the world and one of the reasons many of us live here.

Utahns need to be involved in creating this legislation.

Since these are "public lands," we hope Bennett realizes how important they are not only to Utahns, but people throughout America, and allows all of us a voice.

Mike and Jean Binyon