Environews, Minis

Environews: SLC Mayor gets behind national monuments

By Amy Brunvand

In November, Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski and other Utah elected officials filed two amicus briefs in support of lawsuits to restore the original boundaries of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments. The two briefs make similar arguments that the Trump Administration’s hasty downsizing was based on promoting mineral extraction, not on determining right-sized conservation areas.

The process ignored local voices, harmed gateway communities (including Salt Lake City, since tourists often arrive at the airport) and destabilized the National Monument system.

Remarkably, the Bears Ears brief calls into question whether an extraction-based economic future is desirable for Utah at all, since “opening monument lands to mining will lead to environmentally destructive development and a harmful boom-and-bust cycle”—a phenomenon known as the “resource curse.”

SLC Mayor’s Office Statement

This article was originally published on December 10, 2018.