Conservation and Public Lands
Of all the questions which can come before this nation, short of the actual preservation of its existence in a great war, there is none which compares in importance with the great central task of leaving this land even a better land for our descendants than it is for us, and training them into a better race to inhabit the land and pass it on. Conservation is a great moral issue for it involves the patriotic duty of insuring the safety and continuance of the nation. –Theodore Roosevelt
Utah is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful states in the country. Visitors flying into Salt Lake City are greeted by majestic views of the capital city nestled between the towering mountains of the Wasatch Range and and the expansive Great Salt Lake. The “Mighty Five” National Parks offer some of the most beautiful and pristine environments, drawing visitors from around the nation and globe. Residents and non-residents alike are drawn to our state to participate in a wide range of outdoor activities, including skiing, hiking, watersports, fishing, cycling, and many more that that supports an outdoor recreation industry that brings more than $5.8 billion to our economy.
But when it comes to the management of Utah’s natural resources, whether it be energy production, clean air, mineral extraction, water, or control over our public lands, Utah policymakers seem to be stuck behind the times. Lawmakers continue to squander millions of dollars on dubious projects, including $14 million on a lawsuit their own lawyers counseled was doomed to fail, and $53 million on a terminal in Oakland, CA meant to prop up the dying coal industry. Our government continues to push off implementing more permanent solutions to combat the inversion and poor air quality that plagues our cities. Rather than implementing conservation strategies to take us away from being the “thirstiest state in the nation,” policymakers continue to fund expensive water projects to feed our growing addiction. Additionally, the designation of Bears Ears National Monument has resulted in backlash from our leaders, who continue the mantra of “federal overreach,” regardless of the local and Native efforts for such a designation.
The Alliance for a Better Utah is committed to the preservation of our natural resources for the health and enjoyment of future generations. We will continue to work with our partners in the environmental community to advocate for responsible stewardship over our public lands and responsible use and development of our natural resources.