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Seat at the table

I love the red rock country of southern Utah as much as anyone. And a part of me is always very sad — and angry — to see the mess that private enterprise can make, and often leave behind, in beautiful wilderness areas.

However, I also believe that in a representative democracy, or a republic, all interested parties ought to have the right to air their views and interests and hammer out compromises in a public forum. For an administration (Democrat or Republican) to secretly designate a national monument or wilderness without the requisite public debate is not how we do things in America.

While I might not always agree with miners, drillers, ranchers or other parties against such designations, I will always defend their right to a seat at the table. For me, the argument is not just about the considerable merits of protecting pristine places. It's about first remaining true to principles of democracy.

Rob Lange

Heber City