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DON'T JUMP THE GUN ON UTAH WILDS

To the editor:

Where and how much wilderness should be designated in an issue that every Utah citizen should be concerned with.Do Utah citizens want or need any more wilderness than they have at present? Nearly 80 percent of Utah is owned by the federal government, and nearly 18 percent of Utah's public land has already been withdrawn or reserved for single-use management.

Then along come Rep. Wayne Owens and Rep. James Hansen, who in their wisdom have filed their own bills with Congress to legislate how much wilderness Utah should have. The Owens bill calls for 5.1 million acres, and the Hansen bill callsfor 1.4 million acres.

It is a grave situation when our own congressman file wilderness bills before the Bureau of Land Management has completed its review process and made its recommendations for wilderness designation.

The Bureau of Land Management review and recommendation process and the public hearing process should be completed before any specific legislation is considered. Utah citizens should demand that this process be completed and should inform the congressional delegation of their feelings.

The Utah Public Land multiple-use coalition cannot support either piece of legislation, as its position is no additional wilderness be designated. The Utah Water Users Association is a member of the coalition and supports that position.

Earl M. Staker, manager

Utah Water Users Association