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Why is it that when people propose a compromise in the wilderness debate, the wilderness always is diminished - never the other way?

The Deseret News editorializes that 2 million acres of BLM wilderness would be a fair compromise between the 1 million acres the counties recommend and the 5.7 million acres the Utah Wilderness Coalition proposes. Thus, one-third of Utah's BLM desert wild lands would be permanently protected, and two-thirds would be left open to development.I'll agree to that compromise if the user groups will agree to preserve two-thirds of the rest of Utah's public lands - including the lands that have already felt the impact of the bulldozer. For compromise to work, everybody's cards must be on the table. As it stands, the user groups are saying, "What's mine is mine and what's yours is open to discussion."

Here's a real compromise: Wilderness advocates agree to give up 3 million acres of their proposal, and the user groups agree to restore Lake Powell to its pre-dam condition.

As long as compromise remains a one-way street, each time further diminishing our legacy of wild lands, I'll remain one of those "extremists" who oppose all such compromises.

Fred Swanson

Salt Lake City