Once in a Wild
Environmentalists, ranchers, miners, and Utah politicians have agreed for the first time ever on a plan to designate a Bureau of Land Management area in Utah as wilderness. With wide support from different interests in the state, a measure to protect 5,200 acres in eastern Utah was approved unanimously by a House Resources subcommittee, part of a bill that would create a larger wilderness and national conservation area along the Colorado-Utah border. Still, this development won’t end the heated battle in Utah over wilderness. Environmental groups are pushing to protect 9.1 million acres of BLM land as wilderness, one-sixth of Utah’s land. Meanwhile, in the state next door, a plan to create a new national park at the Great Sand Dunes area in southern Colorado is picking up steam.