Utah Wilderness News, January 7, 2011

Nothing conservative about wilderness opposition

“Those real conservatives understood that truly wild places inspire self-reliance, personal responsibility, faith and spiritual renewal in a world where those conservative values are constantly under assault.  They also recognized that in wilderness, freedom is found in its most fundamental form, and from it springs the headwaters that sustain mankind’s thirst for freedom.”  Read more – FrumForum

Two Vernal residents denouce opposition to wild lands policy

“Instead of acting as spokespersons for the oil and gas industry and labeling hunters, fishers, bikers and rafters as ‘environmental extremists,’ maybe Basin — and Utah — leaders should consider the benefits of and support creating the infrastructure (‘wilderness’) required by an industry that is not subject to the vagaries of the oil and gas industry.”  Letter-to-the-Editor – Vernal Express

“The oil and gas industry will continue to drill. Protecting air and water, solitude and places to recreate, which we all need, is the intent of the latest BLM directives. It is not to infringe upon the industry, nor shut it down.

We have everything to lose, if we do not educate ourselves and share this knowledge with friends and family. Our children’s children will thank us for the actions we take that treat all our resources as if they have equal value.”  Letter-to-the-Editor – Vernal Express

New wild lands policy is a source of hope

“Hope was in short supply for much of 2010. But the new federal wilderness policy means that we enter 2011 with more hope for wild places and our natural heritage than 12 months before. That’s something we can all be thankful for.

Here’s hoping that newfound hope makes a real difference on the ground for many of the currently unprotected landscapes in Colorado’s Canyon Country, New Mexico’s pine clad mesas and lazy trout streams, Utah’s Redrock Wilderness, Arizona’s greater Sky Islands, and Wyoming’s Red Desert.”  Guest Column – New West

Uintah County lawsuit may include new wild lands policy

“Steve Bloch, conservation director of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, which has intervened on Interior’s behalf in the Uintah County lawsuit, said he expects the complaint to be amended and that more counties will sign on as co-plaintiffs.

But such moves will not undermine the validity of the Salazar order, at least in the short term, nor will they slow ongoing efforts to protect pristine areas in the state that have wilderness characteristics or are awaiting congressional approval to be designated as wilderness, Bloch said.”  Read more – Greenwire/The New York Times

Sen. Mike Lee critical of potential wilderness protections

“The freshman senator says Salazar’s move — a reversal of a 7-year-old agreement between the Interior Department and Utah — will hinder energy production and increase uncertainty for Utah businesses.

‘This order will result in lost jobs, investment and revenues at a time when we can least afford it,’ Lee said. ‘I will not sit idly by while the federal government puts a choke hold on our most valuable resources.’”  Read more – The Salt Lake Tribune