- News &
Salazar to Utah: No Monuments?
On April 26, U.S. Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar instructed Utah Gov. Gary
Herbert and his “Balanced Resource Council” to “Be not afraid,” no new monuments
would be designated without their involvement. We would almost certainly not
have Arches, Canyonlands and Capitol Reef National Parks -- which first gained
administrative protection -- as well as the recently established Grand
Staircase-Escalante National Monument, if past administrations had granted such
extreme deference to local interests.
Secretary Salazar’s meeting at Utah's state capitol was billed as the first
stop of President Obama's “America's Great Outdoors Initiative” listening tour,
supposedly a time when citizens have the opportunity to weigh in on conservation
issues. Instead, Salazar directed his comments to Governor Herbert’s “Balanced
Resource Council,” which lacks a single representative from a local, regional or
national environmental group. In fact, the constituency includes some of Utah’s
most radical anti-federal politicians. Herbert himself recently signed
legislation allowing Utah to condemn federal land for the state’s use (his
unconstitutional action will fail in court). Our thanks go to the many Utah
citizens who filled the meeting room wearing “Protect Wild Utah” buttons;
Salazar may not have listened to you, but he had to see you!