Utah Wilderness Wars: A Look at the Historical Background, Present Situation, and Future Possibilities for Public Land in Utah
AbstractUtah’s vast federal lands provide citizens with incredible beauty, solitude, and recreational opportunities, but they also generate extreme controversy among groups who disagree as to how these lands should be managed.Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the arguments for and against wilderness designation have become more emotional, as they have continued to pit local citizens against environmentalists and wilderness advocates. This article gives a history of the wilderness debate, discusses applicable laws regarding the designation of wilderness, and analyzes the current politically charged climate of wilderness and public lands issues. The author analyzes the potential for collaborative solutions between opposing groups in the wilderness debatesand draws conclusions about the eventual way in which public land issues will have to be resolved in an environment of perpetual competition between opposing interest groups.
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