Sen. Mitt Romney: Rural Lands Package Reflects Utah Priorities

By Romney, Mitt | Deseret News (Salt Lake City), February 7, 2019 | Go to article overview

Sen. Mitt Romney: Rural Lands Package Reflects Utah Priorities


Romney, Mitt, Deseret News (Salt Lake City)


WASHINGTON — Utah’s public lands are as unique as they are breathtaking. Red rock canyons, endless swaths of sagebrush, alpine meadows, sprawling salt flats and towering mountain peaks make our state an extraordinary place to live and visit. Such diverse and spectacular landscapes deserve to be managed through locally driven solutions that protect the environment, secure Utah’s rural economies and provide abundant recreational opportunities.

No one knows or loves these places more than the ranchers, teachers, police officers and others who call rural Utah home. Their history, culture and future depend on access to and the quality of Utah’s public lands. For too long, however, presidents of both political parties have designated national monuments with the simple stroke of a pen — leaving out the voices of those most directly impacted by their creation. Instead of being done hand in hand with locals, drawing on their love and knowledge of the land, presidents have opted for quick and heavy-handed action. This flies in the face of the democratic process and, as is the case with most unilateral decisions, stifles innovation, neglects critical pieces of information and produces incomplete and often misguided public policy.

It is for these reasons that I am proud to co-sponsor the Natural Resources Management Act and the Protect Utah’s Rural Economy Act, or PURE Act, as my first policy actions in the Senate.

The Natural Resources Management Act is a comprehensive, bipartisan public lands package that comprises over 100 individual bills — including 10 locally driven pieces of legislation that directly impact our state. With the leadership of Rep. John Curtis and collaboration between county commissioners, environmental groups, ranchers, recreationists and a host of others, these bills were carefully crafted to meet the needs of Utahns while protecting our cherished lands. …

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