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Congressman Rob Bishop scored a coup of sorts last month when he added language to a major defense bill that would create a 100,000 acre wilderness area in the Cedar Mountains of Tooele County.
Now Utah’s entire congressional delegation must work hard to see that the language remains in the National Defense Authorization Act as the measure makes its way through the legislative process.
Their effort should be made a bit easier by the fact the Cedar Mountain Wilderness proposal has the rare unanimous support of leading Utah politicians and various major environmental groups.
However, the politics of nuclear storage could still scuttle the measure. The Cedar Mountains are adjacent to Skull Valley and a proposed storage site for spent nuclear fuel rods.
Wilderness designation would likely block transportation of nuclear waste through the Cedar Mountains to the Skull Valley site.
More importantly, though, KSL hopes Congress comes to realize the wilderness designation is a key to preserving the integrity of the military’s nearby and vital Utah Test and Training Range. The range would be compromised if nuclear waste is allowed to be stored in Skull Valley.
In KSL’s view, creation of the Cedar Mountain Wilderness area is in the best interest of the nation and the people of Utah. It should be established.