I want to go on record as supporting HR1500, America's Redrock Act. I was born and raised in Utah. I am a grandson of a daughter of a Utah pioneer. I am 45 years old and have lived in Utah my entire life except for this past year. My work, computer science, has taken me to California. I hope to return to live in Utah within two to three years.
In the meantime, I visit frequently. I could have left Utah over a decade ago and made a considerable amount more money in my field. One overriding concern kept me in Utah: its landscape. I grew up on the foothills of the Wasatch Mountains in a still-unincorporated area between North Salt Lake and Bountiful. I had the view of Stansbury Island and Antelope Island from my home burned into my memory as a child.I visited most of Utah's national parks with my father as a child. I discovered the rest of Utah on my own in my teens. I have been hiking and camping all around Utah continually since that time. I have traveled considerably around the world but have found no other landscape as diverse and appealing as Utah. What other state holds three vastly different bioregions: the Great Basin, the Rocky Mountains, and the Colorado Plateau?
I want all 5.7 million acres proposed in HR1500 protected for the sake of biodiversity and for the sake of myself and future generations. I have hiked and camped in numerous areas that critically need wilderness protection: Parunuweap Canyon, Desolation Canyon, the Book Cliffs, Paria-Hackberry, Escalante Canyons, Mount Ellen, Westwater Canyon, Horseshoe Canyon, the Dirty Devil, Dark Canyon, White Canyon and San Rafael.
A more short-term benefit of protecting Utah's wild lands is economic growth through tourism. No matter where I live, I will always be doing my camping and hiking in Utah. This means spending money all along the route - my family and friends accompanying me.