WASHINGTON — The Pew Charitable Trusts joined Representative Rob Bishop, Governor Gary Herbert, and other officials today for the announcement of the eastern Utah public lands initiative to address long-standing land management issues in seven Utah counties.
Leaders in Daggett County are the first to sign a locally driven agreement with stakeholders that includes wilderness and other land protections as well as provisions for community economic development. Officials in the other six counties are negotiating with stakeholders in their communities in an effort to reach similar agreements.
Marcia Argust, an officer with Pew’s U.S. public lands project, issued this statement:
"The agreement reached in Daggett County is an example of how progress can be achieved through dialogue, fieldwork, and principled compromise. Pew appreciates the vision and committed efforts of the Daggett County Commissioners and the many stakeholders involved, including the School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration, The Wilderness Society, Grand Canyon Trust, and Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance.
"There is much work ahead of all of us to reach balanced and reasonable solutions in other counties and navigate legislation through Congress. The diverse group of supporters represented today, and the groundwork and consensus-building already taking root in other counties, show that we are moving forward in a positive and productive way.
"We hope to soon celebrate the successful enactment of a law that protects significant landscapes, promotes local economies, sustains the livelihood of ranchers and other residents, and preserves cultural resources and traditions."