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I had the opportunity to attend the recent National Policy Forum held in Salt Lake City to receive public comment on a broad range of public land policy issues. Two panels of Utah citizens spoke and many comments were offered by the audience of nearly 100. Many of these comments represented strongly held opinion. Other comments reflected personal experiences with public land managers and policies. The people in attendance were mainstream Utahns.

Deseret News writer Brent Israelsen was in attendance and he wrote his observations in a column the next day. He summed up the nearly four hours of discussion as "anti-environmentalist" and "anti-government."There was nothing "anti-environmentalist" about the forum. The fact is that environmentalism was a major topic but it was environmentalism that includes the needs and activities of man in direct contrast with today's politically correct, anti-human environmental extremism. Perhaps this explains why Israelsen did not recognize it. As for "anti-government," isn't a gathering of citizens discussing those issues that concern them what government is? Or do we common citizens have no other role than to comply to the latest dictum from on high?

Bill Redd


San Juan County