Amy Joi O’Donoghue – The Deseret News
A compromise reached on contentious, decades-old land disputes in Daggett County will be incorporated into a lands bill in Congress and could serve as the template for how the rest of the country strikes a balance between conservation and resource development.
During a Wednesday announcement of the deal brokered under the direction of Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, Daggett County Commissioner Jerry Steglich said if groups could reach agreement there, it could happen about anywhere.
The agreement, Steglich said, has Daggett County giving up one-fifth of its land mass — about 100,000 acres for wilderness and conservation designations — with an eye to getting nearly 7,000 acres for resort development he said will help diversify the county’s economic base.
“There has been pain and difficulty in this process, but it has been worth it,” he said. “We didn’t get everything we wanted as a county, but neither did the coalition.”
The coalition included multiple environmental groups such as the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, The Wilderness Society, the Natural Resources Defense Council and conservation groups such as Trout Unlimited. (…)