Appreciates legislative updates, upset with Owens
Thank you and our legislators for the session updates. There is a lot packed into a few weeks. We want to comment on an article a few weeks ago by Rep. Owens. We were disappointed to see him, a member of the House Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment Committee, refer to the Bears Ears National Monument designation as a “Federal Land Grab.” Federal management over the years is the main reason that our state still has so much natural beauty and hasn’t been stripped and exploited.
The Utah state government, including Rep. Owens, repeatedly focuses on state control of federal lands. This is irresponsible thinking. Even a cursory look at state-managed lands shows a real difference in the management focus. Our National Parks demonstrate the care the Federal government gives to these beautiful lands. Our state parks are degraded by comparison. The state government wants these lands to make a profit, which includes selling the pollution rights. Coupled with the efforts to gut the EPA, residents will be the ones to pay the price.
Remember the recent environmental disaster at Durango, CO? Private mining company makes money, residents and wildlife have their water supply poisoned, taxpayers get stuck with the cleanup.
As long as lands are public, they are available to us—the public. As long as places like Bears Ears are protected, they are preserved. A place can be preserved as long as people demand it, but a place can only be destroyed once.
Deborah Woodbury, Manti
Lianne Hirst, Manti