Gov. Herbert says Utah committed to protecting public lands

The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance is among the groups opposing an effort to get National Parks and other federal public lands in Utah under state control. Photo credit: National Park Service.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Gov. Gary Herbert told a group of outdoor recreation representatives that the state is committed to protecting Utah’s pristine public lands.

Herbert said Tuesday at the state’s second annual Outdoor Recreation Summit in Salt Lake City that embracing the growing outdoor industry is a key part of his plan to grow the state’s economy. The Republican governor said he is committed to striking a balance between preserving open spaces and allowing some development on those lands.

REI president Jerry Stritzke told more than 500 attendees that Utah should be commended for creating an office of outdoor recreation and recognizing the immense potential of the outdoor industry.

Herbert said after his speech that the state’s push to take control of federal lands is not a plan sell the lands to the highest bidder.

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