I wasn’t born in Utah. I didn’t take my first steps here; Utah wasn’t where I learned how to ride a bike. I didn’t live here through profound teenage years and I didn’t start a family here. In fact, in one month I won’t even be a resident of this great state.
What I have found here, what I have felt here, is something that should be available for generations to come: Utah offers an unparalleled access to wild lands, lands that awaken our most primitive selves.
It devastates me to imagine that my nephews won’t be able to float down the muddy Green River. I am horrified to think they won’t have the opportunity to run their hands along the orange walls of a slot canyon and feel the porous sandstone against their skin. I don’t want the only place for them to see remnants of ancient civilizations to be in books and photos, when just a few decades earlier they were perfectly preserved, perched on cliffs accessible for anyone with strong legs and desire.
The Emery County Public Land Management Act of 2018 fails to protect an adequate amount of the 1.5 million acres of wilderness lands found in Emery County. Some things cannot be undone, but we can put a stop to the harmful attacks on these unique places. This landscape is irreplaceable.
Kelsey Kagan, Salt Lake City