Student Leaders Speak Out Against Public Lands Initiative

On Tuesday, March 15, a group of students from campuses along the Wasatch Front gathered at the Utah State Capitol in united opposition to Rep. Bishop’s Public Lands Initiative (PLI), and to show support for a Bears Ears National Monument as proposed by a historic coalition of Native American Tribes. After speaking to the media, they delivered a letter to Governor Gary Herbert outlining their concerns.

“We are the generation that will inherit the problems that come from the short-sighted, profit-driven decision making by our elected officials,” said Karsyn Ansari, a recent graduate from the University of Utah Environmental Studies program. “We are here today to fight for our right and the right of future generations to experience redrock wilderness.”

Student letter PLI press conference

Students address the media from the steps of the Utah Capitol. Copyright Dave Pacheco/SUWA

Jared Meek of Brigham Young University said “Many students have been paying attention to the PLI process and to put it lightly we are not pleased with the current proposal.”

The students expressed deep concern about the ability of their generation (and future generations) to enjoy Utah’s fabled redrock country as it is, and to meet it on its own terms, not on terms set forth by fossil fuel developers favored by Mr. Bishop’s proposal.

Students vow to continue their campaign against the Public Lands Initiative, and to stay involved in the public process, since Utah political leaders did not give them a voice when the legislation was being drafted. They explained how Mr. Bishop’s process was heavily weighted in favor of rural county commissioners to the exclusion of Utah’s majority population of urban dwellers, themselves included.

Watch the Fox13 and KSL TV stories and read news coverage in the Logan Herald Journal and Deseret News.

Add your voice! There’s still time to comment on the draft Public Lands Initiative. If you haven’t yet done so, please click here to submit your comments.