Environews: Growing citizen opposition to Public Lands Initiative

By Amy Brunvand

– By Amy Brunvand

On March 2, the Utah Wilderness Coalition staged a people’s hearing on Congressman Rob Bishop’s (R-UT-1) Public Lands Initiative (PLI), giving a voice to people who were excluded from the official process since PLI hearings were never held on the Wasatch Front where more than 90% of Utah’s population lives.

More than 600 people overflowed an auditorium at the University of Utah where empty chairs were set up on the stage to represent the absent Utah congressional delegation. Attendees took turns at the microphone expressing opposition to the draft PLI, to cheers and applause. Students from Utah universities and high schools followed up with an open letter to Utah’s congressional delegation that reads, “Our generation has the most at stake in ongoing decisions facing Utah’s redrock wild lands. Not only are we avid users of this land, but we will inherit any adverse consequences that will arise from short-sighted decisions made by the current generation of elected officials.” The Native American Bears Ears Coalition withdrew from the PLI process in January due to disrespectful treatment by Utah congressmen.

Citizen’s Hearing on the PLI: suwa.org/over-600-utahns-pack-citizens-hearing/


More April 2016 Environews:

Utah Legislature, 2016 Environmental Round Up

The 2016 General Session of the Utah Legislature ended on March 10. A few good bills passed, but, mostly, environmental causes suffered

Great Salt Lake dustbowl?

A new report by researchers at Utah State University says that proposed development of the Bear River could turn the Great Salt Lake into an environmental catastrophe like the Aral Sea or Owens Lake

Alternative to Lake Powell Pipeline

Washington County needs water, but not as much as Lake Powell Pipeline advocates claim

Collaboration is the answer to public lands issues

In March, the Wallace Stegner Center released a fourth report analyzing the transfer of public lands idea, which has this to say: “Respectful dialogue, collaborative relationships, adequate agency funding, and locally supported land exchanges can address many of the problems responsible for frustration over public land management, especially if coupled with programs to help rural communities transition to a more sustainable future

This article was originally published on April 5, 2016.