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ORTON SAYS HE WELCOMES `ENDORSEMENT’ BY HANSEN

SHARE ORTON SAYS HE WELCOMES `ENDORSEMENT’ BY HANSEN

Democratic Rep. Bill Orton says he welcomes a recent "endorsement" from one his Republican colleagues.

Orton said Rep. Jim Hansen lauded one of the concessions he was able to secure from President Clinton during a discussion over the establishment of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Orton said Hansen spoke favorably of the Bureau of Land Management being allowed to run the new monument rather than the National Park Service. Hansen called the move unprecedented in a recent news article."I'm glad to see Jim Hansen is finally beginning to understand the importance of the concessions I negotiated," he said. Orton said that although he and Hansen opposed the president's action, the Republican congressman did not initially believe the concessions were important.

"Clearly, he now believes it was imperative that I obtained these major concessions," Orton said.

Orton said he hopes the congressional delegation is coming together on the monument issue. It's too important to the people of southern Utah to let it degenerate into political sniping, he said.