Newest federal land sell-off plan )
Today's most viewed story in LA Times online June 6, 2006


Today’s Los Angeles Times highlights the Washington County Growth and Conservation Act, the most recent quid pro quo deal for the West’s public lands. Washington County, Utah is home to red rock wilderness, threatened desert tortoises and great weather; and has been attracting retirees to communities like St. George in increasing numbers in the past few years.

Following the precedent set by Harry Reid in Nevada in 2004, Utah Republican Senator Robert Bennett is about to introduce a bill that would allow sale of up to 25,000 acres of federal land for development.

What does the public get in return?

  • 219,000 acres of wilderness designation--half of which is land already being protected as part of Zion National Park.
  • A 66,000-acre tortoise preserve with a highway running through it.

The bill will be introduced in the coming weeks and is expected to be followed by others like it for Utah, Idaho, Nevada, and New Mexico, where there is similar pressure for developable land.

As one County Commissioner baldly states, “We’re in it for the land.”

Please check out the article posted on our website.

If you go directly to the article at http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation /la- na-landbill6jun06,0,6015868.story?coll=la-home- headlines, you can see in the photo album on the right a particularly chilling picture of development hugging the base of Red Rock Mountain.

Thank you to all of our members and supporters for your interest in these issues!

Janine, Chris and Joanne

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