Short-sighted foolishness…

Short-sighted control and short-term financial gain, versus incalculable eternal value is what’s at stake. I write to highlight and oppose actions by our Legislature, and our congressional representative to do away with or shrink Bears’ Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase-Escalante monument.

I understand this would mean less state control, but preserving this land means more long-term state value. Utah has a rare gem, wilderness will continue to be exploited in other parts of the world. As this happens, the value of this increasingly rare, unspoiled land will become priceless. Humans need wilderness. These lands will benefit Utah’s lucrative outdoor tourism industry and be a legacy for generations to come.

Places like Comb Ridge, Valley of the Gods, Grand Gulch, Natural Bridges, Moki Canyon and House on Fire are shining Utah treasures. This gorgeous array of canyons and mesas, has sacred grounds as well as tens of thousands of archaeological sites amid cliffs and canyon bottoms. Extraction industries directly threaten these places, and the money goes to companies outside our state. Tourism brings in money from other states and other countries throughout the world and leaves that money here.

I recognize the importance of mining industries, but mining should take place away from our beautiful public lands. Exploiting our wilderness is selling off a world class treasure. Like pawning a priceless family heirloom for the price of the metal when it’s melted down. Unretrievable foolish loss for short-sighted control and profit.

—Dr. J.A. Mathews

Salt Lake City