This is an archived article that was published on in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, in a June 8 speech to the National Press Club, asked concerned Americans to raise our voices in support of protecting wild lands. Congress, led by the House of Representatives, has declared war on our land, water and natural resources in Utah and the nation.

We in Utah have a responsibility to help preserve this wonderful place we live in and to ask President Barack Obama to help us. As a southern Utah business owner, living in Escalante, I know that the Antiquities Act and the designation of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument brought positive economic outcomes to southern Utah.

I and other people have moved to Escalante because of the national monument. It has brought jobs and tourists and I see the future as only brighter with each passing year. Designation of the national monument has not brought the economic ruin that opponents predicted 15 years ago.

We need to tell Congress that the Grand Staircase-Escalante and wilderness areas have been beneficial to the public and that is supported by most Utahns. These landscapes make Utah a wonderful place to live and work. They deserve protection.

Steve Roberts