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News » Hits & Misses

Oh, the Places You'll Breathe

How do we balance a clean environment with local growth? National parks will soon be open to off-roaders. Plus, how the country's swamp has just gotten more swampy.



The Places You'll Breathe
The air, the water, the places you'll live—how you think about these things depends on what you value. Utah State University Research Landscapes is taking up the challenge with an event that emphasizes "the importance of managing the nation's fourth-fastest growing economy against a backdrop of safeguarding natural and recreational amenities such as national parks and ski areas," according to the Deseret News. Maybe growth isn't just about growth, but about how your environment affects your well-being. Meanwhile, the EPA is playing tricks with its pollution monitoring, eliminating wildfires and fireworks from calculations—as though people don't breathe all the time, The Salt Lake Tribune reports. What USU comes up with might speak to that lie and put Utah on the right track.


Open for Off-Roading
Here's the question: Do you think the federal government made "an arbitrary and capricious exclusion of people based on their preferred mode of motorized travel" by banning ATVs from national parks? Well, wonder no more because Rep. Phil Lyman, R-Blanding, is thrilled to death that the National Park Service's acting regional director, Palmer "Chip" Jenkins, says it's OK in Utah as long as they're safe and insured. The damage to park resources—to everything that makes a park worthwhile—is pretty much toast. All those off-roaders were discriminated against, he says, in the same breath as this email to a Southern Utah constituent: "I am trying to remember the last time I was in a National Park. I think they are the worst thing to happen to the land, and I hope the crowds continue to go there so that the remaining good places remain."


The Swampiest Swamp
Pinky swear—the Trump administration minions really, really won't act on their personal interests. Take, for instance, William Perry Pendley, acting director of the Bureau of Land Management in July, who was president of a legal firm that sued the feds on behalf of the Northwest Mining Association. They were challenging an Obama-era uranium mining ban on a million acres of public land next to the Grand Canyon, according to KUER 90.1 FM. It looks like uranium mining is back on the table. Bloomberg News did a report on how the president has "drained the swamp." Fun fact: he's made it swampier. "He has surrounded himself with family members, appointees and advisers who've been accused of conflicts of interest, misuse of public fund, influence peddling, self-enrichment, working for foreign governments, failure to disclose information and violating ethics rules," Bloomberg wrote.