Lost and found study





Under former Utah Gov. Norm Bangerter, the bumper sticker "Wilderness: land of no use" became popular. At the same time, managers under Bangerter ignored a 1991 draft state study that said wilderness could actually benefit Utah's economy. Gov. Mike Leavitt recently unearthed the report after the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance pressed the state attorney general to investigate its disappearance. State planning official Brad Barber says the report was never released because it was incomplete and simplistic, and that other projects took precedence since the study "was no longer relevant," reports The Salt Lake Tribune. Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance staffer Ken Rait says that the study continues to be significant because it refutes doom-and-gloom beliefs that creating more wilderness means Utah counties lose money (HCN, 5/7/90). The 1991 study by the Utah Office of Planning and Budget listed three possible scenarios for increased wilderness, the most favorable of which would bring Utah 600 new jobs and raise up to $15 million annually. To receive the 1991 report, Economic Analysis of Wilderness Designation in Utah, write the Utah Office of Planning and Budget, Demographic and Economic Analysis, 116 State Capitol, Salt Lake City, UT 84114.