Spending at windmills


About two-thirds of Utah’s legislators are tied to banking, insurance, land title, development, real estate or other firms that would benefit from the transfer of lands to the state (“Bad medicine,” HCN, 10/27/14). Utah’s Legislature is over 80 percent Republican, with highly gerrymandered districts to ensure that the 30 percent or so of Utahns who vote for Democrats are thoroughly disenfranchised. Proclaimed contempt for the federal government is their hallmark, especially in rural counties of eastern and southern Utah.

While all of this can be seen as merely a current iteration of the 1980s Sagebrush Rebellion, Utah’s Legislature is much more conservative Republican, much more anti-federal, and much more inclined to spend taxpayer money tilting at federal lands windmills. With a new large majority in the U.S. House and control of the U.S. Senate, coupled with Western Democrats who fear both the Tea Party and the National Rifle Association, I worry that enough Democrats will agree to transfer to create a veto-proof majority that will force this upon us all. If these lands are ever transferred to the states, they will be gone forever.

Guy Durrant
Manila, Utah

High Country News Classifieds