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Letter: Don’t privatize our public lands
First Published Jul 30 2014 05:21 pm • Last Updated Jul 30 2014 05:32 pm

Pat Bagley’s cartoon was timely ("Public lands takeover," July 27). It spells out the intent of the organizers to privatize public lands. This is their goal.

The intended consequences are frightening enough, but it is the unintended consequences that are really frightening. One, for example, is water.

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Almost all of our water rises on public lands. John Wesley Powell in his report on arid lands of the West in 1871 made a point that lands in the West cannot be parceled out in the same way as the eastern U.S. lands. There is not enough water. There still isn’t.

He maintained that whoever controls the land, controls the water. I can’t imagine the water problems that will arise if there is private control of our watersheds. Devastation of these lands will follow.

If these promoters of state takeover are successful, it will be the worst day in the history of the West.

Mark these words: state takeover will spell the end of the lore, legends and freedom the West offers.

If you think public lands managers are hard to deal with, try it with large corporations or, God forbid, a foreign government. No trespassing signs. Private property will be everywhere.

Keep public lands public.

Anton Oscar Olson

Salt Lake City

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