or Login to see your representatives.

Access Candidates' and Representatives' Biographies, Voting Records, Interest Group Ratings, Issue Positions, Public Statements, and Campaign Finances

Simply enter your zip code above to get to all of your candidates and representatives, or enter a name. Then, just click on the person you are interested in, and you can navigate to the categories of information we track for them.

Public Statements

Letter to Senate Colleagues - Stop Mandated Wilderness Expansion from Washington

Letter

By:
Date:
Location: Unknown

U.S. Senators Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Mike Lee (R-Utah), and Reps. Rob Bishop (UT-1), Jason Chaffetz (UT-3) and Chris Stewart (UT-2), today urged their colleagues in the United States Senate and House of Representatives to not support the Red Rocks Wilderness Act. The legislation, introduced by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), would mandate the creation of 9.4 million acres of designated wilderness areas in Utah, nearly one-fifth of the state's entire land mass. These 9.4 million acres of new wilderness designation would come at a time when the federal government already owns 66 percent of Utah's land.

In a letter sent to past supporters of similar legislation, Hatch, Lee, Bishop, Chaffetz, and Stewart write that "[t]he sponsors and cosponsors of this bill will not be from Utah. In fact, Utah elected officials, including the governor, state legislative leadership, rural county commissioners and Utah's Republican and Democratic members of Congress have unanimously opposed this bill." The Members of Congress note that "[t]he Red Rock Wilderness Act would jeopardize jobs in the energy industry which are among the highest paying in the nation and are substantially higher paying than most jobs in rural Utah."

Hatch, Lee, Bishop, Chaffetz and Stewart add that "[t]he Utah delegation is not opposed to preserving wilderness quality lands," and that they are in the process of writing legislation "that provides for both conservation and development opportunities in a locally-driven, transparent process."

April 18, 2013

Dear Colleague,

America's Red Rock Wilderness Act will be introduced this year, and as members of the Utah congressional delegation we are asking you to please refrain from cosponsoring this bill. Furthermore, we would appreciate the opportunity to discuss this proposal and other local, Utah-specific lands issues with you or a member of your staff.

The sponsors and cosponsors of this bill will not be from Utah. In fact, Utah elected officials, including the governor, state legislative leadership, rural county commissioners and Utah's Republican and Democratic members of Congress have unanimously opposed this bill.

The Red Rock Wilderness Act would mandate the creation of 9.4 million acres of wilderness, nearly one-fifth of Utah's entire land mass. We have several concerns about this proposal.

The federal government owns 66% of Utah's land, compared to 10% or less in eastern and southern states. Millions of federal acres in Utah are already designated as national parks, wilderness, national monuments, or other conservation designations. In fact, 36% of federal land in Utah is protected while only 12% is leased for oil and gas. An additional 9.4 million acres will further widen the gap and reduce the potential for future economic development in rural Utah.

The Red Rock Wilderness Act would jeopardize jobs in the energy industry which are among the highest paying in the nation and are substantially higher paying than most jobs in rural Utah. Moreover, production of oil and gas on federal lands in Utah benefits the federal treasury and reduces America's dependence on foreign oil. To be clear, we are not proposing that wilderness quality lands be open for mineral extraction or oil and gas exploration.

The Utah delegation is not opposed to preserving wilderness quality lands. In fact, several members of the Utah delegation are working on a Utah lands bill based on input from state and local government officials, conservation groups, and other stakeholders. This will be a balanced bill that provides for both conservation and development opportunities in a locally-driven, transparent process. To obtain more information on this process, please contact John Tanner in Sen. Hatch's office at John_Tanner@hatch.senate.gov or Fred Ferguson in Rep. Bishop's office at Fred.Ferguson@mail.house.gov.


Source:
Back to top