Tell Governor Herbert to Stop the Land Grab

Escalante River
The Grand Staircase-Escalante National
Monument would be one of the casualties of
Herbert’s crusade.  Copyright James Kay

Some Utah politicians, including the Governor, never waste an opportunity to indulge in criticism of the federal agencies that manage the nation’s public lands, including BLM lands in Utah.  But there’s new proof that when they do so they are out of step with Utahns and others across the West who express strong support for protecting these special places.

In a cross-cutting survey of attitudes toward public land protection in six Western states, researchers found that Utahns are right on par with the rest of westerners in support of conservation.  The Colorado College State of the Rockies Project’s Conservation in the West Survey found:

  • 76% of Utahns think that we can protect air, water and land resources while at the same time maintaining a good economy.
  • Over 90% said that national parks and monuments are both essential parts of the state’s economy and quality of life.

With such compelling support for conservation, you’d think the priorities of Utah politicians, like Governor Gary Herbert, would reflect this reality by supporting new protections for Utah’s remarkable redrock wilderness.

Think again.

Instead, the governor is channeling the worst of his inner “Sagebrush Rebel” by using a 19th century law — R.S. 2477, repealed more than 30 decades ago — as the basis for a massive lawsuit to establish control over “highways” across federal public lands, virtually immune from federal regulation.  Please call Governor Herbert at 800-705-2464 and ask him to stop his attack on our precious public lands.

These “highways,” many of which are actually hiking trails, dry stream beds and cow paths, would invite rampant and destructive off-road vehicle use and create obstacles to the protection of proposed wilderness lands.  Soil erosion, noise, water pollution, and degraded native plant and wildlife habitat would all result.

What’s worse, many of these claimed “roads” cut through some of Utah’s crown jewels, found in the recent survey to be so important to Utah’s economy and quality of life, including Zion, Capitol Reef and Canyonlands National Parks as well as the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

Does Governor Herbert really think bringing off-road vehicles into places like the Muley Twist of Capitol Reef or Hackberry Canyon in the Grand Staircase is going to help bring more people to the state and improve Utahns’ quality of life?

Now is your chance to act and tell Governor Herbert that his misguided crusade against the federal government has gone too far. Call Gary Herbert today (800-705-2464) and tell him to stop the land grab!