Either Utah’s elected leaders don’t get it or they think going through the motions will secure their office. What have they really accomplished regarding our shared, wild public lands?

Congress, thankfully, saw through Rep. Rob Bishop’s failed Public Lands Initiative because it too narrowly followed the wishes of county commissioners. We now have a golden opportunity to extend real protection to some of our best public wild lands in the San Rafael Swell and beyond. But while the Emery County Public Land Management Act is a start, it’s currently about a million acres short of capturing the most deserving lands. If protected as wilderness, the entire country — the entire world — will be envious and proud that the people of Utah, and their representatives, had such foresight.

We must demand more from the Utah congressional delegation than the current Emery County Public Land Management Act. They need to be honest brokers between Utah counties and Utah/U.S. conservationists, not simply taking one side and expecting a different outcome than the failed PLI. Unless they respectfully start to recognize the overwhelming desires of most citizens, we will lose these magnificent lands forever.

Jeffrey Himsl, Sandy