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A Conservation Disappointment

Posted - Jul. 9, 2004 at 9:48 a.m.



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Because of an inordinately difficult, even unfair threshold on initiative petitions established last year by the state legislature, the Utah Clean Water, Quality Growth and Open Space Initiative likely won’t be on the ballot in November.

It’s too bad! Utah voters should have had the opportunity to decide the measure. Indeed, if passed, it would have a positive impact on the quality of life in Utah for generations to come.

For a one-cent investment on every twenty-dollar purchase made by taxpayers over a decade, the state would have money to protect critical land around rivers, lakes and streams as well as key family farms and ranches, and historic and cultural landmarks. There would be funds to establish trails, greenways and outdoor recreational facilities, along with city, county and state parks.

Alas, it won’t be, unless the petition backers are successful in their announced effort to find a few more valid signatures, as required, in at least two more senate districts.

We wish them success!

Should they fail, though, KSL hopes the Utah Legislature takes note that nearly 130,000 Utahns signed the petition. Clearly, the idea of establishing a $150 million conservation fund for preserving critical lands has broad support. In KSL’s view the people of Utah would benefit from having such a fair and equitable mechanism for keeping Utah’s scenic beauty viable and appealing.

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