Say what?


The Washington County Growth and Conservation Act of 2009 was created out of many months of discussion and debate among local groups and individuals with interests on both sides of the wilderness controversy. It led to some public land being moved into private hands and protection of land with wilderness characteristics. Neither side got everything it wanted, but everybody got something.

That conciliatory process has become a model for land use negotiations under way in other Utah counties. In Piute County, Sen. Orrin Hatch is overseeing talks that could lead to 44,000 acres of mostly Forest Service land being designated as wilderness, while access to the popular Paiute Trail is maintained for all-terrain vehicles and mining and grazing rights in the county are protected.