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Governor Leavitt hit the nail on the head with recent comments about the seemingly endless debate over the need to protect public lands in Utah, including the establishment of wilderness areas
"We ought to use wilderness where it’s appropriate and we ought to get on with it. We have simply put off making wilderness too long." (Michael O. Leavitt, Governor of Utah)
KSL agrees! And with the governor, we share a belief that reasoned minds can overcome the polarizing views of extremists on both sides of the issue to accomplish what should have occurred long ago.
Interior Secretary Gale Norton got the debate off dead center in April with the decision to release some 6 million acres of federal land in Utah from temporary wilderness protection. It was a good decision!
The debate accelerated when the outdoor recreation industry jumped into the fray, prompting Governor Leavitt to acknowledge for the first time that 3.2 million acres of wilderness is about the right number. The governor wisely saw an opportunity to enlist the outdoor recreation industry in his "middle of the road" approach to preserving pristine lands.
Undoubtedly, strident voices will be raised to counter the governor’s efforts, but KSL believes he’s on a course that could bring resolution to a debate that has lasted far too long.