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SET ASIDE 5.7 MILLION UTAH ACRES

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The amount of land proposed as potential wilderness becomes less each time a new recommendation is advanced. Now Bill Orton suggests we set aside a mere 1.2 million acres as wilderness.

Wilderness,, once despoiled, cannot easily be reclaimed. We should be willing to settle for nothing less than the 5.7 million acres of wilderness specified in the Hinchey bill. California currently protects 13 million acres as wilderness. Utah children deserve the same opportunity to experience the solitude that wilderness can provide.I must object to the statement in your Dec. 9 editorial when you state that the San Rafael Swell is not suitable for wilderness protection since it is bisected by I-70. Presently I-15 through the Virgin River Gorge has wilderness areas on either side. A lack of access roads and high fences ensures that vehicular use is prohibited. Why not have the same protection for the San Rafael Swell?

The citizens of Utah are caretakers of some of the most stunning acreage in the nation. Our responsibility is to care for these wildlands that remain, for ourselves, but especially for future generations.

Toni Wall

Spanish Fork