Open sesame, grazing boards

  The public must now be allowed, if not welcomed, to sit in on Utah's grazing advisory board meetings. In late June, the state attorney general's office issued a decision that forces all five of Utah's BLM advisory boards to open their doors, even to activists such as grazing watchdog Scott Groene of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance. Groene tried to attend an advisory-board meeting two years ago but was kicked out. He appealed the ousting to the state auditor's office, but was told that advisory boards aren't subject to the Utah Open Meetings Act because they are considered federal bodies. Groene then wrote to the state attorney general, who ruled the boards must open their meetings because they distribute public monies. "The ranchers are going to have to start being accountable to the public," Groene told the Salt Lake City Deseret News. "When you're using public money and public land, your meetings should be open to the public."

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