Last week, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell delivered the keynote address to the Outdoor Retailers annual winter show in Salt Lake City. The Salt Lake Tribune reported the show is one of the biggest economic drivers of the year, contributing over $20 million to the Salt Lake and Utah economy. In her address, Sec. Jewell reaffirmed her commitment to a modernizing of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Through a public/private relationship, Jewell hopes to raise $20 million for the effort to get 100,000 youths and veterans outside and working.
Fortunately, stakeholders across the political spectrum are working together in Utah. During the show, the Outdoor Industry Association honored Utah Gov. Gary Herbert for “his efforts in 2013 to promote the outdoor recreation economy, and elevate outdoor recreation as an economic priority essential to Utah’s economy and quality of life.”
This past summer, Governor Herbert asked the state to reconsider a controversial decision by the Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration, which would have allowed energy development within the Book Cliffs. The area is considered prime wildlife habitat for Utah’s big game.
It’s going to take more of that same compromise and balance across Utah moving forward. For example, the Moab Master Leasing Plan (MLP) will be a key test in bringing stakeholders to the table to work towards balancing energy development with conservation. The plan will ultimately require Secretary Jewell’s leadership to ensure it get’s done properly and on time. At Western Values Project, we’ll certainly be watching.