Bill would add about 26,000 acres to wilderness protected areas just east of Salt Lake City-

Blanch Lake and Sundial Peak. Twin Peaks Wilderness. Wasatch Front. Copyright Ralph Maughan

A pretty fair portion of the rugged divides between the major Wasatch Mountain canyons at Salt Lake City are already protected as Wilderness. Rep. Matheson proposes to add to the Mount Olympus, Twin Peaks and Lone Peak wilderness and establish a new Wilderness near between Parley’s and Mill Creek Canyon — Wayne Owens Grandeur Peak-Mount Aire Wilderness.

Utah has poor senators on Wilderness issues, making Senate passage a problem. In addition Senator Bennett is being challenged by a far rightist who doesn’t seem to believe there should be public lands.

[Representative] Matheson to introduce wilderness legislation. By Patty Henetz. The Salt Lake Tribune

Personally, I always loved hiking the rugged Wasatch and like seeing them conserved from development.

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

4 Responses to Utah's Matheson to introduce wilderness legislation for Wasatch Front

  1. avatar JimT says:

    I wonder what SUWA thinks are the chances of this, and why he is doing it. You are so correct; Utah has always fought new wilderness designations.

  2. avatar jdubya says:

    I love how politicians can play the old rabbit in the hat trick…

    The deal is that Matheson may very well LOSE the democratic party nomination in the convention due to his spate of anti-democrat votes including the most recent one against health care. The caucuses last month were virtual Tea Party conventions of “Anybody but Matheson” types, and Claudia Wright, another democrat is running against him for the nomination (and I as a delegate will vote for Wright).

    So Matheson somehow needs to distract the party faithful before next months convention so what BETTER way than to want to provide wilderness status for some frankly irrelevant sections of the Wastach. Virtually everything listed is already forest service and protected due to watershed concerns.

    A typical political smoke screen to obfuscate the obvious.

  3. avatar bryantolsen says:

    Matheson is nothing more than a energy company lobbyist in a blue suite. He’s redder than most republicans, and no friend to Utah’s wilderness. This is a total PR move for the upcoming election.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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