This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Recently Utah Congressmen Jason Chaffetz and Chris Stewart have come out in defense of Cliven Bundy, placing blame for Bundy's predicament on the federal government.
The scofflaw Bundy, a bigoted racist, has been illegally grazing his cattle on ecologically sensitive federal lands without paying his grazing fees for 20 years claiming he, not the government, owns the land. Everyone I know pays their taxes, which means we are all funding Bundy's thievery.
Now, Chaffetz and Stewart are sweeping Bundy's crime under the rug and faulting the government for not turning federal land in the west over to the states. Their motivations are clear, there are short-term profits to be made by mining, developing oil and gas production, promoting subsidized cattle grazing on public lands for a fraction of the true cost, all polluting and poisoning the delicate ecosystems of Utah's priceless undeveloped lands, water and air.
Why aren't Chaffetz and Stewart busy developing environmentally friendly industries; more tourism related businesses; or long-term job, education and training opportunities to employ more Utahns?
Obviously neither Chaffetz nor Stewart understand, appreciate or care about the sustainability of Utah's environment or how closely linked it is to our long-term economic viability, health and happiness.
Jonathan C. Seegmiller
Salt Lake City