This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Over the years, The Tribune has taken a moderate and supportive editorial stance on the issue of wilderness protection in Utah. Therefore, it was disappointing to read your only description of America's Red Rock Wilderness Act as being "championed for years by Eastern-state Congress members" ("San Juan lands: Wilderness model can benefit county," Our View, April 26)
Although the bill was developed by Utahns and originally introduced by Utah Rep. Wayne Owens, its opponents have long attempted to marginalize and dismiss it by claiming that it is mainly supported by East Coast elites. I expected different from The Tribune, however.
In the last Congress, ARRWA had 167 cosponsors in the House and 22 in the Senate. These represented 35 of the 50 United States, three territories and the District of Columbia. The numbers generally reflected the country's population distribution. In the House, 48 cosponsors were from every state in the West except Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana and Alaska.
Anyone familiar with Washington knows that these numbers are extremely high for a bill and reflect widespread support for protecting Utah's wilderness not just in the Eastern states, but all across America.
Michael J. Painter
for Western Wilderness