In the Feb. 16 edition of The Tribune, in a Q&A with Washington bureau chief Thomas Burr, Mitt Romney said, “I think we need to revisit how we work with the Antiquities Act and how decisions are made about public lands.”

That sounds good if you say it fast, but you have to say it really fast. He goes on to refer to agricultural and local interests as though they are paramount and as though they are somehow compromised.

Pop quiz, Massachusetts Mitt: How much of Utah’s GDP is made up of agriculture, natural resource extraction and mining, combined?

Travel in your mind across rural Utah. You see miles and miles of barbed wire fence, cows everywhere, farms, oil derricks, perhaps a clear-cut mountain forest, gravel pits, a pinyon and juniper forest chained down, stacks of hay. They must be a big part of our economy, right? Wrong.

According to the 2018 Utah Economic Report to the Governor, extraction industries add up to a mere 1.9 percent of Utah’s economy. Those who work in the other 98.1 percent live in Utah for another reason. The unparalleled beauty and majesty of our protected federal public lands is the big part of that reason.

Mark Bailey, Torrey