No one doubts there is growing tension in Utah over who has the right to manage the state’s vast swathes of federal land.
On Saturday, protesters plan to defy the law by driving ATVs into Southern Utah’s Recapture Canyon, an area closed to motorized travel.
Disputes over management of wild horses persist in Iron County, and some residents worry President Obama may use his Antiquities Act powers to designate a new national monument in Utah before leaving office.
Regardless of where you stand on these issues, there’s plenty to debate. Land management is a perfect topic for a new public debate format The Salt Lake Tribune is sponsoring along with KCPW 88.3/105.3 FM and the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah.
On Wednesday, The Tribune’s Jennifer Napier-Pearce will moderate an Oxford-style debate on the resolution: "The State of Utah is best suited to manage public lands within its borders."
Arguing for the motion will be Utah House Speaker Rebecca Lockhart and West Jordan Republican Rep. Ken Ivory, president of the American Lands Council.
Arguing against the resolution will be former BLM director Pat Shea and Dan McCool, political science professor and director of the Environmental and Sustainability Studies Program at the University of Utah.
The event, which begins at 7 p.m., is free and open to the public at the Salt Lake City Main Library, 210 E. 400 South.
Those attending will have an opportunity to vote on which team was most persuasive.
KCPW will broadcast the debate live, and it also will be live streamed at sltrib.com.
The debate is intended to provide an opportunity for Utahns interested in the issue to hear newsmakers address their best arguments in person. You gain direct access to decision makers and sources for the stories The Tribune writes about public lands.
We expect a lively discussion.
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