CEDAR CITY (AP) -- Iron County commissioners say it's too late to protect 50,000 acres in the Steamboat Mountain area in the county's northwest corner as wilderness.
County engineer Steve Platt is using 80 percent of his time to prove the land contains roads, fences and grazing areas, which commissioners contend make it unsuitable for wilderness designation.The area is part of the wilderness proposal put together by Gov. Mike Leavitt and Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, Commission Chairman Dennis Stowell said Monday.
About 1,500 acres south of Kanarraville in the Spring Creek area that connects with Zion National Park is also included in the Leavitt-Babbitt plan, Stowell said.
Paiute Tribal Council Chairwoman Geneal Anderson asked whether the wilderness designation would affect the tribe's annual harvest of pine nuts in the Steamboat Mountain area as well as restricting commercial harvesters.
Commissioners said they believe it would do so and asked the Paiutes to let the governor's office know of its impact on the tribe.
Members of the tribe were asked to take a trip to the Steamboat area with Platt early next month. Commissioners said they are intent on letting the governor's office know about their concerns with the plan.