Monumental Battle: Showdown Over Public Lands

Them’s fighting words, pardner.

Compromise? We don’t compromise. This is the Wild West, and we settle things one way. Words are weapons and shots are fired every day in the battle over public lands. A high-noon compilation of the monumental showdown—you pick the color of the hat:

Utahans love their public lands. We just don’t believe that federal bureaucrats thousands of miles away know how to better manage them, or care more about them, than the people who have lived on and around them for generations.

Rep. Greg Hughes, Utah House Speaker

With one breath, Gov. Herbert touts our six, now seven, national monuments to increase tourism—and with another refuses to drop
party lines for the betterment of Utah’s economy.

Peter Corroon, Utah Democratic Party Chair

Utah’s political leadership has birthed an anti-public lands political agenda that is the driving force of an existential threat to the vibrancy of Utah and America’s outdoor industry as well as Utah’s high quality of life.

Peter Metcalf, founder, Black Diamond, in rallying Outdoor Retailer to withdraw from Utah in protest.

If anyone here likes the Antiquities Act the way it is written, die. I mean, get stupidity out of the gene pool.It is the most evil act ever invented.

Rep. Rob Bishop, at the 2015 Western States Land Commissioners Association conference in Moab

Mormon history, the Constitution and laws, and white-man’s history are written on paper. Our history—the Native history—is written in stone on canyon walls. We celebrate knowing our history at Bears Ears will be protected for future generations, forever.

–Octavius Seowtewa, Zuni tribe, to High Country News

Some think we believe the federal government is the only solution to local issues. To the contrary, we see local stewardship efforts and partnerships as the primary way positive change will happen. Federal bureaucracy can be just as challenging for conservation as it can be for industry.

–Josh Ewing, Executive Director, Friends of Cedar Mesa

I would hope that my fellow Utahans would not use violence, but there are some deeply held positions that cannot just be ignored.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, In response to threats against rangers protecting public lands

The federal government is the biggest landlord in America. It owns two-thirds of a billion acres of America. I don’t think the Founders ever envisioned it that way. Does President Trump want to start returning the people’s land to the people? And in the meantime… can he tell the Forest Service to start logging our forests aggressively again to provide jobs for Americans, wealth for the Treasury, and not spend $3.5 billion a year fighting forest fires?

Lars Larson, conservative radio talk show host

See more inside the .

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