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In Wilderness Is Dissension

The contentious battle over Utah's wilderness is marked by a cultural clash.


In September 1996, President Clinton proclaimed 1.7 million acres of southern Utah as the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. "This unspoiled natural area remains a frontier," said the president. "It is a place where one can see how nature shapes human endeavors in the American West."1 With this proclamation, he touched off another contentious battle in the war over public lands in Utah.

The debate involves more than just whether the Grand Staircase area deserves wilderness or monument designation. In fact, the question of wilderness seems a peripheral issue. More central, culturally based considerations are whether public lands should be controlled by the federal government or local governments, what role local communities should play in environmental decisionmaking, and whether nonwestern and urban interests should direct public lands policy in the West.


Henry David Thoreau once mused that in wildness lies the preservation of the world, an observation that would reverberate in the years to come.2 It is not surprising, then, that among public lands issues, designation of wilderness areas often elicits the most passion and controversy. Much of this is due to the language of the 1964 Wilderness Act, which defines wilderness as an area "where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain."3 Under this act, Congress has the authority to designate areas as permanent wilderness and to add new lands as it sees fit. An area may be determined suitable for wilderness designation if it has the following characteristics:

It is an area of undeveloped land retaining its primeval character and influence, without permanent improvements or human habitation, which is protected and managed so as to preserve its natural conditions and which 1) generally appears to have been affected primarily by the forces of nature, with the impact of man’s works substantially unnoticeable; 2) has outstanding opportunities for solitude or primitive and unconfined type of recreation; 3) has at least 5,000 acres of land or is of sufficient size as to make practicable its preservation in use and in an unimpaired condition; and 4) may also contain ecological, geological, or other features of scientific, educational, scenic, or historic value.4

The 1964 act established the National Wilderness Preservation System and set aside 9.14 million acres of wilderness in 54 areas, all in national forests. Now, 35 years later, the system protects more than 100 million acres of wilderness in national forests, wildlife refuges, parks, and lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management. This vast acreage is managed by a host of agencies including the BLM, Forest Service, National Park Service, and the Fish and Wildlife Service. More than 95 percent of this acreage is located in the West, which makes congressionally classified wilderness a particularly western phenomenon.

Within wilderness areas a number of nonmotorized activities such as horseback riding, hiking, camping, fishing, and hunting are allowed. Activities that are not allowed include new mining claims, timber harvesting, water development, mountain biking, and use of any motorized equipment such as snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles. Preexisting uses of the land including extractive uses such as mining are tolerated until the permits granted or such activities expire, are abandoned, or are purchased by the government. Preexisting grazing rights are also allowed to continue as long as they are consistent with sound resource management practices. These allowances are a compromise between preservationists and grazing, mining, timber harvesting, water development, and motorized recreation interests.


In 1976, the Federal Land Policy and Management Act required the BLM to inventory all roadless areas suitable for wilderness classification.5 This inventory was completed on a state-by- state basis, and Utah’s wilderness inventory was completed in 1980. The BLM recommended 1.8 million acres as possible wilderness in Utah, although the issue remains highly controversial and hotly contested.

The battle over the federal designation of additional wilderness areas in southern Utah involves up to 5.7 million acres of Utah’s 22 million acres of public land. The contested area, known as the Redrock Wilderness, abuts six national parks and recreation areas—Zion, Capitol Reef, Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon, and Glen Canyon—and includes several geological systems, including the Upper Paria Canyon, the White and Vermillion Cliffs, and the Kaiparowits Plateau. The area contains a multitude of flora and fauna, as well as coveted archeological sites containing relics of native cultures, including the early Anasazi, Fremont, Southern Paiute, and Navajo cultures.

To protect these resources, wilderness advocates such as the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, the Grand Canyon Trust, the Utah Wilderness Coalition, and thousands of Utah and non-Utah residents believe the area should be forever preserved in its most natural and primitive state.

The region, the last to be mapped in the continental United States, remains one of the most primitive and wild places in the lower 48 states. According to some observers, its proximity to national parks and other public lands, and its distance from any major urban areas make southern Utah the prime candidate for future American wilderness designation.

A number of organizations have made recommendations regarding the amount of land that should be set aside as wilderness in the state. Utah’s county governments recommend a million acres or less, while Utah representatives Bill Orton and Jim Hansen recommend 1.2 million acres, the BLM 1.9 million acres, the Utah Wilderness Association 2.8 million acres, and the Utah Wilderness Coalition 5.7 million acres. Despite these acreage variations, the debate has predictably focused on the two most extreme proposals, pitting the county position—interpreted as the local or rural response—against the 5.7 million acre plan championed by the Utah Wilderness Coalition.

The Utah Wilderness Coalition represents 115 citizen groups that favor designating about 15 percent of all land in the state as wilderness. The group formed in 1985 as a response to the perceived failure of the BLM to include enough wilderness in its Utah lands inventory. The Citizen’s Wilderness Proposal was first introduced by then Utah Democratic Congressman Wayne Owens as H.R. 1500, and then reintroduced as America’s Redrock Wilderness Protection Act by Democrat Maurice Hinchey of New York. It is the largest acreage proposal and adopts the strictest interpretation of the 1964 act.


Encompassed within the debate over southern Utah wilderness designation is the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument controversy. Although monument status is not as restrictive as wilderness designation, lands within the Grand Staircase-Escalante area have been withdrawn from entry location, selection, sale, leasing, or other disposition under public land laws.6 Thus, no new mineral leases can be issued within monument boundaries. Despite these restrictions, several valid existing rights are recognized, allowing such preexisting activities as grazing to continue.

Although there are differences between wilderness and monument status, Congress does have the ability to create wilderness areas within a monument’s boundaries, and the Staircase-Escalante contains approximately 900,000 acres of existing BLM wilderness study areas within its boundaries.7


Many people in Utah believe that President Clinton’s decision to designate the Grand Staircase-Escalante as a national monument was politically motivated. President Clinton proclaimed the area a monument during the 1996 presidential campaign, when Ralph Nader’s Green Party threatened to take environmental votes away from the Democrats. Clinton’s proclamation ensured support from environmentalists and garnered positive press coverage. It cost him votes in Utah, of course, but he was unlikely to win the state anyway.8 Clinton’s strategy appears to have gone as planned. While Utah Republican Senator Bob Bennett accused Clinton of showing "blatant disregard for existing process in exchange for a campaign photo-op," John Adams, executive director of the National Resources Defense Council, claimed the President "deserves tremendous credit for his leadership and vision in preserving this portion of Utah’s magnificent and unique red rock wilderness."9


The debate over wilderness and monument designation in southern Utah transcends questions of acreage and management. At its roots are dissimilar interpretations of culture, control, and place. Although many of these differences go beyond a regional framework, others are particularly local in orientation and are best understood using a cultural lens.

The Utah Wilderness Coalition and its late spokesperson Wallace Stegner considered the conflict to be one between the material and the spiritual, as well as one between disparate cultures. According to Stegner:

Utahns were, and some still are, frontiersmen. They share states’ rights assumptions and biases. Away from the Wasatch Front, the population is so thin and the wild land so extensive that they cannot conceive of its being damaged. No more than other Westerners do they like dictation or interference from outsiders, and they are as susceptible as other frontier Westerners to the temptation of violence. Many consider the wilderness inventory, and indeed all federal regulation, an unwarranted intrusion into land use decisions that should properly be made by the people who live there.10

Stegner saw the conflicting parties as the birdwatchers and the roughriders, the responsible stewards of the earth and those galvanized by "the spirit that won the West." 11 Stegner, a Utah native, remained sympathetic toward the concerns of many rural Utah residents and understood the roots of their intransigence, much of which stems from historic religious persecution. However, he believed Utah residents have failed to read their own history correctly. Southern Utahns, said Stegner, seem willing to sacrifice the unparalleled beauty of their land in return for marginal economic and material rewards.

Other wilderness advocates calling for the protection of the Redrock environment include T.H. Watkins, editor of Wilderness, the magazine of the Wilderness Society. Watkins points to the "usual suspects that include mining, grazing, timber extraction, oil and gas development, industrial-strength tourism, and unfettered urban growth" as the primary threats to the southern Utah environment.12

Residents of the Redrock Wilderness, though, feel besieged by outsiders who want to lock up the area’s natural resources. The Utah Wilderness Education Project, an advocate for some residents of southern Utah, points out that local people have the greatest ecological knowledge about the area’s wilderness.13 They believe that as the people closest to the land, they should have the power to make decisions about how that land is managed. While environmentalists like Stegner and Watkins criticize the "usual suspects," many southern Utahns see extractive industries, on a limited scale, as the only means to stabilize their precarious rural economy, keep their distinct rural culture intact, and provide the economic incentives necessary to keep young people in the area.

Another important part of the wilderness debate is the measuring of public opinion. According to some measures, a majority of state residents support H.R. 1500, the 5.7 million acre plan. When Utah Governor Mike Leavitt asked for public comment on the contesting bills, he received 22,000 letters and petitions, 65 percent of which supported the largest acreage set-aside.14 County hearings scheduled by the state to elicit additional citizen input revealed that citizens favoring H.R. 1500 outnumbered their opponents by at least six to one, even though most of these hearings were strategically held in the most rural parts of the state, hundreds of miles away from the central Utah population.15 According to controversial Earth First! activist Dave Foreman, the Utah Sierra Club and the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance effectively mobilized wilderness sentiment and "took that lie away from the Utah congressional delegation that the people of Utah are against wilderness."16

A more representative way to measure Utah wilderness opinion is through state public opinion polls. These polls have shown that state residents are in favor of additional wilderness, although how much should be designated is still in question. One study conducted prior to the 1997 designation of the Escalante-Grand Staircase found that 86 percent of Utah residents think it’s important or very important to "preserve some pristine, unique, natural areas as wilderness in Utah."17 This same survey revealed that 79 percent of Utahns support legislation that would designate additional areas of Utah as wilderness. And a poll by the Salt Lake City Deseret News found only 4 percent of the state wanted no more additional land set aside as wilderness, while 26 percent supported the 1.8 million acre proposal, and 36 percent supported the 5.7 million acre plan.18


A central theme in this controversy over public lands is the economic cost of wilderness and monument designation. The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and other proposed southern Utah wilderness areas have the potential for increased economic development. The Kaiparowits Plateau in the Redrock Wilderness includes 650,000 acres of coal-rich lands desired by the Dutch-owned Andalex company. Coal mining in the Kaiparowits has drawn interest since 1965 from such companies as Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas and Electric, and Arizona Public Services of Phoenix.19 The proposed production of 2.5 million tons of coal, and its accompanying sales taxes, property taxes, royalty payments, and potential employment, are seen by several government and business leaders in the state as a way to resuscitate a fragile southern Utah economy.20

Andalex’s proposed Smokey Hollow coal mine has been challenged on both environmental and economic grounds by those wishing to preserve the area. The Flagstaff, Arizona-based Grand Canyon Trust argues that the mine would be less efficient than similar mining operations in central Utah, due to higher transportation costs and lower quality coal.21 Expecting to sell its coal to the California industrial and Pacific Rim steam coal markets, Andalex has asked the state to commit resources to build and maintain new roads along the coal haul route.22 These proposed subsidies have led the Grand Canyon Trust to view the mine as not only environmentally deleterious, but economically unsound as well.

Most local officials oppose larger wilderness designation bills because they pose a loss of revenue either from lost payments-in-lieu-of-taxes — payments made to local governments each year to offset the loss of tax revenue caused by the presence of tax-exempt federal land within their jurisdictions—or mineral leases.23 The loss of possible revenue produced by school and institutional trust lands—acreage owned by Utah for the purpose of generating revenue for education—is another reason Utah county representatives use to oppose a larger wilderness bill.24

Some county officials in southern Utah believe that additional wilderness will jeopardize the economic and social stability of the region. Private property, not federal land, they say, generates the revenue that pays for such services as education, law enforcement, emergency services, fire protection, and ironically, a host of other services needed by tourists who flock to wilderness and monument areas.

They support their position with a comprehensive study undertaken in 1995 by Utah State University. The study found that the economic benefits from added wilderness recreation are actually inconsequential compared to the economic losses associated with a decline in activities incompatible with wilderness designation.25

Preservationists, however, contend that this argument is false. The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, for example, claims that the creation of additional wilderness presents the possibility of abandoning the boom and bust economy symbolic of the West in favor of a more sustainable and ecologically sensitive one. Executive director Mike Matz contends that wilderness opponents are "clinging to this historic notion that they have to exploit the land in order to make a living."26 In fact, existing uses of wilderness areas are respected by the Wilderness Act. Moreover, global economic trends, changing energy markets, increased automation, and the increasing importance of the service sector, among other factors, are changing employment opportunities in rural Utah as well as the rest of the nation. Fewer people can expect to work in resource-extractive industries over the coming decades.

These differences of interpretation are ubiquitous across the West and are perhaps best illustrated by a bumper sticker wryly asking, "Are you an environmentalist or do you work for a living?" In other words, rural westerners often perceive that environmentalists, including those in Utah, condemn all work in nature, or sentimentalize certain archaic forms of it, while they remain unaware of the uses they themselves are making of nature, whether through the wood heating their homes, the dammed water they drink, or the electricity powering their computers. As environmental historian Richard White notes, westerners often see environmentalists as part of a privileged leisure class that identifies nature as a place to play and visit, and not a place to work and live.27


A predominant theme in this debate is the significant amount of western land that is already owned and operated by the federal government. Preservationists believe that this federal presence is necessary to ensure that public lands can be enjoyed by everyone. The canyons of Utah, says writer and wilderness supporter Stephen Trimble,

belong not to an elite cadre of backpackers, not to the cattle-raising families of Escalante and Kanab, not to the Utah state legislature, not to the Bureau of Land Management. They belong to all citizens of the United States. In Truth, they belong to no one.28

According to Mike Matz of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, public ownership is necessary to ensure that the interests of nonwesterners—those who have long subsidized western growth and development—are considered when land use decisions are being made.29 Underlying this support of federal control is a distrust among preservationists of what southern Utah communities would do to the land if given the opportunity. Matz maintains that "this land is owned by you and me. But if special interests and local politicians have their way, it is a land that could be lost to us forever."30

The local response to this extensive federal presence is an angry and culturally based one. According to Garfield County Commissioner Louise Liston, whose county is comprised of less than 2 percent of private land:

The truth is, massive federal ownership of lands in Utah and the West with its accompanying laws, regulations, and policies, is destroying the custom, culture and economic stability of rural America [and] wilderness is perceived as yet one more nail in the coffin.31

The ubiquitous federal presence is cause for concern for many in the area. Clinton’s proclamation of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument angered many Utahns because it was announced on the rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona, not in Utah. They saw Clinton’s use of the Antiquities Act, without meaningful state consultation, as just another example of how out of touch the federal government has become with some western communities. According to Republican Senator Orrin Hatch, this "mother of all land grabs is a clear example of the arrogance of federal power."32

Their antipathy toward the federal government stems in part from the belief that those closest to the area’s natural resources know best how to manage them. In one survey of 602 respondents in southwestern Utah—a largely rural area including the cities of St. George, Hurricane, La Verkin, Toquerville, and Virgin—residents express greater satisfaction with the job that state and local governments are doing to manage the state’s resources than with the efforts of the federal government.33 Ken Sizemore, a community and economic development director for the Utah Association of Governments and a member of the Grand Staircase-Escalante Monument planning team, believes that Mormon history provides a partial but important explanation for this hostility towards the federal government.34 Historically persecuted, and driven out of such states as Illinois and Missouri, many Mormons believe the federal government failed to defend Mormon religious rights as well as the legitimacy of the Deseret state. According to Sizemore, some Mormons regard the federal government as historically hostile, or at least unsympathetic, towards Mormonism, and the legacy of this hostility still endures.

It is also worthwhile to note that while many southern Utahns remain distrustful of a far-away and overbearing federal government, they do not seem to show the same degree of enmity toward foreign corporations such as the Dutch-owned Andalex company. This contradiction is further compounded by the fact that the federal government employs more local residents than do many extractive industries in the area.

One of the most consistent themes in the debate, moreover, is the difference between de facto and de jure wilderness; that is, whether officially recognizing wilderness areas will be beneficial or detrimental to the land. According to Sizemore, preservationists want officially recognized and managed wilderness, while locals believe that officially designating wilderness or monument status will ruin, rather than preserve, the area.


Closely related to this antagonism toward the federal government is the feeling among many in the region that they are continually slighted by an overcentralized, technocratic, and out-of-touch federal government. The President’s proclamation, made without meaningful Utah consultation, angered those who believe they have the most at stake in protecting the area’s resources and natural amenities.

Although many in southern Utah are disappointed at being left out of such important federal decision-making as the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument designation, they now do not want to be left out of its operations. Gerry Rankin, mayor of Big Water, Utah, the likely southern gateway community to the newly established monument, believes a hearing of community concerns is absolutely essential if local support is to be galvanized.35 Although Rankin is disappointed at being left out of the initial monument planning process, she hopes her town can in the future play a role in its management, perhaps by hosting a BLM substation in Big Water.

Many in the region also believe they have been vilified by environmentalists outside southern Utah and have received no credit for keeping the beauty of the area intact. Karla Johnson, a rancher in Kanab, Utah, likens the situation to a neighbor who after admiring another neighbor’s home and upkeep, demands to take over its management, never having put any work or effort into its maintenance.36 There is a feeling among many families who have lived in the area for generations that local ecological knowledge is neither appreciated nor taken into account by federal environmental decision makers.

Some Utahns believe that support for designating increased amounts of land as wilderness comes from outsiders who are either completely unfamiliar with the region or use it solely as a playground. Much of their anger is directed towards politicians from the East or from California who want to dictate how land they are not responsible or accountable for is managed. Those outsiders, on the other hand, see locals as hostile and unfit to be the sole caretakers of the Redrock environment. Events like the hanging of Interior Secretary Bruce Babbit in effigy, and the staging of a "Black Wednesday," when some Utah residents wore black ribbons and released black balloons to commemorate Clinton’s monument proclamation, have done little to ease tensions.


Support for H.R. 1500 is particularly strong outside western states. For example, in March of 1997, only five of the 82 cosponsors of the bill were from western states other than California. The support of easterners, especially sponsors like Democratic Senator Maurice Hinchey of New York and former Democratic Senator Bill Bradley of New Jersey, is resented by some western congressional representatives. According to Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, "They don’t even know what wilderness is. We do [and] we’ve got plenty in Utah."37 Partially responsible, says Hatch, are powerful national environmental lobbies. "The fact is that we are being sandbagged not so much by our colleagues but by a well-orchestrated and well-financed campaign staged by huge, huge national environmental lobbies who are pursuing their own national agenda," Hatch says.38

Because the debate over southern Utah wilderness has been framed in national terms, a national strategy has been adopted by the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance. Since three-quarters of the alliance’s members are from outside Utah and since the acreage in question is federal and not state-owned land, the approach seems logical. The alliance took out full-page ads in the New York Times and USA Today targeting a larger and more sympathetic American audience.39

A rural-urban dichotomy is also evident in the debate, with those living in such places as Salt Lake City perceived as being more pro-wilderness than those in rural Utah. While environmental support is strong in the urban and rural West, there are also isolated pockets of antienvironmental sentiment in the region. Many in the area feel indignant about this vocal urban and nonwestern wilderness support. The outside strategy has thus polarized much of Utah, with the preservationist agenda being equated with nonrural beliefs, values, and concerns. There is a sense that urbanites see southern Utah as a place where wilderness should be championed and human occupation discouraged—even though it is the preserved records of early human occupation that makes the area such a valued anthropological and archaeological place of study.

The debate over wilderness and monument designation in southern Utah transcends questions of acreage and management; at its roots are dissimilar interpretations of culture, control, and place. Although many of these differences go beyond a Utah and a western framework, and are more central to environmental values writ large, some are particularly regional in orientation and are better understood from a cultural perspective. Placing the debate in cultural terms also shows how the usual way of framing the debate—more or less wilderness—is overly simplistic. Arguing over 1.8 or 5.7 million acres misses the point. It’s only once the cultural complexity of the issue is fully explored that the true meaning of wilderness in Utah can be better understood and conflict diminished.n

Martin A. Nie is assistant professor of political science-environmental policy at the University of Minnesota in Duluth, Minnesota. 

1. Bill Clinton, "Proclamation 6920—establishment of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument," Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents 32 (38) (September 23, 1996), p. 1788.

2. See Henry David Thoreau, Walden and Other Writings of Henry David Thoreau, Brooks Atkinson, ed. (Toronto, Canada: Random House, 1950).

3. The Wilderness Act, Public Law 88-571: 78-Stat. 890 (1964).

4. Ibid.

5. Federal Land Policy and Management Act, Public Law 94-579. 90 Stat. 2743 (1976).

6. US Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, "Interim Management Guidance, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument" <> (1997).

7. Such places as the Badlands, Bandalier, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Chiricahua, Craters of the Moon, Lava Beds, Misty Fjords, Organ Pipe Cactus, Pinnacles, and Saguaro have been moved from wilderness to monument status.

8. Clinton received only 25 percent of the 1992 presidential vote in Utah, behind both Bush (43 percent) and Perot (27 percent).

9. Stephen J. Siegel, "State Delegation Still Fuming," Ogden (Utah) Standard Examiner (September 19, 1996), p. Al.

10. Wallace Stegner, "Introduction," Wilderness at the Edge: A Citizen Proposal for Utah’s Red Rock Deserts (Utah Wilderness Coalition, 1989), p. 3 <>.

11. Ibid.

12. T.H. Watkins, "Introduction: Bearing Witness," in Testimony: Writers of the West Speak on Behalf of Utah Wilderness, Stephen Trimble and Terry Tempest Williams, eds. (Minneapolis, MN: Milkweed Editions, 1996), p. 12.

13.The Utah Wilderness Education Project <> (February 10, 1997).

14. Margaret Kriz, "The Wild Card," National Journal (January 13, 1996), pp. 65-68.

15. See "Utah Wilderness Timeline," by Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance <> (February 11, 1997).

16. Ibid.

17. C. Arden Pope III and Jeffrey W. Jones, "Value of Wilderness Designation in Utah," Journal of Environmental Management 30 (1990), pp. 157-174.

18. Michael Satchell, "The West’s Last Range War: How Much of Utah Should be Set Aside as Wilderness?" U.S. News & World Report (September 18, 1995), pp. 54-56.

19. Note these companies’ noneastern locations. M. Guy Bishop, "The Paper Power Plant: Utah’s Kaiparowits Project and the Politics of Environmentalism," Journal of the West 35 (1996), pp. 26-35.

20. Utah Energy Office, Report to the Energy Conservation and Development Council on Underground Coal Mining on the Kaiparowits Plateau (Salt Lake City, UT: May 1989).

21. John Duffield, Chris Neher, and Arnold Silverman, "Marketability of Coal from Andalex Resources’ Proposed Smoky Hollow Coal Mine," prepared for the Grand Canyon Trust (May 20, 1995).

22. See Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget Demographic and Economic Analysis, Andalex Resources and the Proposed Smoky Hollow Mine: A Fiscal Impact Analysis and Economic Overview (Salt Lake City, UT: October 1993).

23. Gayle A. Stevenson, Davis County commissioner, president, Utah Association of Counties, "The Wilderness Position of Utah’s Counties," text of letter and resolution sent to Utah’s congressional delegation, 1995.

24. Despite having one of the lowest dropout rates, and the highest percentage of adult high school graduates (90 percent), Utah in 1995 ranked 50 in state per-pupil spending ($3,431). See Thomas R. Dye, Politics in States and Communities, 9th edition (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1997), pp. 42, 44, 55.

25. Donald L. Snyder et al., "Wilderness Designation in Utah: Issues and Potential Economic Impacts," Research Report 151 (Logan, UT: Utah State University, Utah Agricultural Experiment Station, 1995).

26. Daniel Glick, "Utah: A Wilderness Shell Game," Wilderness 59 (Winter 1995), pp. 14-18.

27. Richard White, "‘Are You an Environmentalist or Do You Work for a Living?: Work and Nature," in Uncommon Ground: Rethinking the Human Place in Nature, William Cronin, ed. (New York: W.W. Norton, 1996), pp. 171-185.

28. Stephen Trimble, "Our Gardens, Our Canyons," in Trimble and Williams, Testimony: Writers of the West Speak on Behalf of Utah Wilderness, pp. 21-22.

29. Mike Matz, telephone interview, Flagstaff, AZ, April 29, 1997.

30. Mike Matz, SUWA letter (April 1, 1997).

31. Louise Liston, Garfield County commissioner, testimony before the House Natural Resources Committee, June 23, 1995.

32. Siegel, "State Delegation Still Fuming."

33. Northern Arizona University, Social Research Laboratory, Partnership Team, Southwestern Utah Attitudes Survey: Report (Flagstaff, AZ: sponsored by Grand Canyon Trust, 1997). This survey of southwest Utah residents shows many are concerned with the area’s low paying jobs and increased growth. While a plurality favor protecting the natural environment (44 percent) over promoting economic growth (26 percent), more place protecting individual property rights (50 percent) over the community’s right to preserve the environment (36 percent).

34. Ken Sizemore, interview, Cedar City, UT, May 27, 1997.

35. Gerry Rankin, interview, Big Water, UT, May 28, 1997.

36. Karla Johnson, interview, Kanab, UT, May 28, 1997.

37. "NGOP Wilderness Proposal Nixed," Associated Press News Service (March 27, 1996).

38. From Senate debate on the Omnibus Parks Bill amendment on March 25, 1996 <> (February 11, 1997).

39. Utah was also at the center of one of the first nationalized environmental campaigns. In an effort to stop the Grand Canyon from being flooded in 1966, David Brower of the Sierra Club ran advertisements in such papers as the New York Times and the Washington Post. See Mark W. T. Harvey, A Symbol of Wilderness: Echo Park and the American Conservation Movement (Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press, 1994); and Russell Martin, A Story That Stands Like a Dam: Glen Canyon and the Struggle for the Soul of the West (New York: Henry Holt, 1989).

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