Utah Governor Gary Herbert says he has a promise from the Obama administration – there won’t be a new national monument appearing suddenly on the map of Southern Utah.
Governor Herbert was in Washington DC last week and spoke with U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell. He told reporters at his monthly news conference on KUED that Jewell promised there would be no designation of a Greater Canyonlands National Monument without some advance notice.
Utah’s governor doesn’t much like the idea of creating a Greater Canyonlands National Monument covering a large area of public land in southern Utah.
Environmental groups are asking President Obama to use the federal Antiquities Act to set aside 1.4 million acres of public land on both sides of the Colorado River as a national monument. Governor Gary Herbert says there are better ways to protect public land.
Seven environmental groups are telling the Bureau of Land Management they plan to sue the agency over its leasing plan for oil shale and tar sands. They say the agency didn’t consult the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over the possible impact on endangered species.
Attorney Steve Bloch with the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance says the 60-day notice is required before the suit can be filed in federal court.
The Salt Lake Tribune names its Utahns of the Year, Several Utah cities designate city parks as Christmas Tree drop off zones, and the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance moves forward with a lawsuit against the Bureau of Land Management.
A petition with more than five thousand signatures demanding an end to Utah's attempt to take control of federal lands was delivered Wednesday to Governor Gary Herbert's office. The effort was led by the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance and supported by activists like Dwight Butler of Wasatch Touring. He says the federal government is taking good care of its land right now.
"The state of Utah, there's a good chance, would develop it, or sell parcels off, or divide it up," he told KUER. "I think it's the best protection we have right now and we should keep it that way."