excerpts of interviews about the search for compromise on public lands issues in the west
Bruce Adams: San Juan County Commissioner.
“All of that property belongs to the Federal government. So whatever they decide to do with it; it’s up to them; it’s really not up to me...”
Interview date 1-25-16
Rebecca Benally:San Juan County Commissioner, representing the southern part of the county, including the Utah portion of the Navajo Nation.
“respect everyone’s differences and input, I represent my constituents; I will respect whatever happens”
“Cedar Mesa should be protected and preserved for Native American access for ceremonies and gathering…”
Heidi Redd: A cattle rancher since 1965. Redd served as a member of San Juan County Commissioner Phil Lyman’s Public Lands Council.
“I think we do need tourism, but I don’t think that should be the only egg in the basket… What this county has lived on for ages has been minerals …”
Interview date: 4-20-16
Jim Dabakis: (D-UT) Member, Utah State Senate representing District-2
“Don’t underestimate the few special interests…that have no intention really of trying to move the needle to wherever the economy is going to go…”
Interview date 6-6-16
Gavin Noyes: Executive Director of Utah Dine Bikeyah.
“There’s four divides in the county – there’s native and non-native, then there’s Mormon and non-Mormon, and that’s woven through in both cultures… trying to think of ways to break through some of those barriers …”
Interview Date 6-7-16
Charles Wilkinson: Professor of Law (emeritus) at the University of Colorado, Boulder and a long time advocate for Native American rights.
“I will say one thing about the Coalition. To their everlasting credit, they have not used the word ‘racist’ in public…”
Interview Date 3-7-16
Phil Lyman: San Juan County Commissioner who organized the Lands Council in response to Rep. Rob Bishop’s (R-UT) call to provide stakeholder driven input to the Utah Public Lands Inititative.
“This is not our land. This is federal land… You came to see a boxing match and it was more of a chess game…I’m not going to go in swinging….”
Interview date: 4-5-16
Sue Bellagamba: Canyonlands Regional Director, Utah Nature Conservancy.
“You demonstrate that conservation and human needs can work hand in hand…”
Interview date: 4-29-16
Listen to more audio from our interviews:
Rob Bishop: (R-UT); currently chairs the House Committee on Natural Resources. In 2013, Bishop initiated the Utah Public Lands Initiative, which he describes as “a locally-driven effort to bring resolution and certainty to the most challenging land disputes in Utah.”
“A monument would be counterproductive….”
Interview date 10-14-16