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Get facts on wetlands

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Those who would memorialize our sewage lagoons as "wetlands" are duping us. The Sierra Club goes unpraised, as well it should go unpraised, for blocking millions of acres of purported wilderness from ever being seen.

And it does nothing about the environmental rape that hauls away our "everlasting hills." But when it denies the reality of what was the "pristine" state of our lakeshores, and at great cost blocks the expressed will of state government and the people, it deserves confrontation at every level.

Under the heading "Our wetlands are man-made," the Deseret News published a letter Aug. 23, 2000, from Elvis G. Keysor of Bountiful. "There is an 1849-'50 map available at the U. Marriott Library fourth floor, 'Great Salt Lake and adjacent County in the Territory of Utah,' by Capt. Howard Stansbury of the corps of Topographical Engineers."

That map depicts sagebrush (alkaline artemisia) growing on desert outcroppings. The lush growth from a century of Salt Lake City's sewage had yet to come.

"I have been assured repeatedly by personnel affiliated with the Corps of Engineers and Soil Conservation Service that wetland laws apply only to naturally occurring conditions, not man-made projects." So states Mr. Keysor.

A second question looms large in the matter. Who in state government presumes to have the authority to indenture our state funds to a contract that pays a contractor $92,000 a day for not working?

Someone representing the informed leadership of our state should be able to get the ear of the court in these matters by some means.

F. Willis Taylor