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Gov. Herbert Willing to Compromise on National Monument

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Tim Peterson
Bears Ears Buttes

Governor Gary Herbert says he might be OK with the idea of a new National Monument in Utah if it helps give the state freedom over other areas of public lands.

At his monthly press conference on KUED Herbert told reporters that he’s not excited about the idea of a new National Monument but, “If that’s what it takes to get the compromise done, so that everyone feels like that got something out of this thing, that’s part of compromise," Herbert said.

"There are probably areas that how we treat it now, whether it was a National Monument or not, would probably not even people know the difference.”

The compromise Herbert is referring to is a public lands initiative Utah Congressman Rob Bishop has been working on for more than a year. A full plan has never been proposed largely due to the opposition it’s faced from local officials and environmental groups. But Herbert says that’s the nature of compromise.

“Let’s preserve and protect those areas that need preservation," he said. "Let’s open up for development those areas we have potential for energy and natural resource extraction, for tourism and travel. They are not mutually exclusive ideas.”

It’s unclear when or if Bishop will ever release a finalized agreement to propose to Congress. 

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