Because I mostly grew up in Logan, Utah, the fact that often has the dirtiest air in America (in the winter) is most discouraging.

The immediate problem is a strong inversion layer. The nearby valleys are snow-free and warm and Cache Valley (Logan) remains with snow and still air that allows the auto exhaust to build up. The longer term problem is too many automobiles, sprawl and lack of public transit. This is in a cultural area where they used to pride themselves on how well the towns and cities were planned.

It seems that only old-timers remember when planning was preached from the pulpit.

Story. Winter’s bad air still choking [Northern] Utah: Logan, Salt Lake City pollution levels among highest nationwide. By Judy Fahys The Salt Lake Tribune

Related story: “As you breathe the muck we Utahns ruefully call air, you might be wondering what your Legislature did to help clean it up. We are happy to report some good news on that front and give Utah’s lawmakers their due for passing three good bills.” Clearing the air: Legislature passed three good bills, dropped a fourth. Editorial in the Salt Lake Tribune.

About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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March 2007


‎"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