PUBLIC LANDS -- The Outdoor Industry Association and more than 100 outdoor-related businesses are asking President Barack Obama to designate 1.4 million acres of federal wildlands surrounding Canyonlands National Park as a national monument, according to a report by Brett Prettyman of the Salt Lake Tribune.
The group is sending a letter to the president today asking for the protective designation.
The Greater Canyonlands area includes geologic landmarks such as Labyrinth Canyon, Indian Creek, White Canyon, Fiddler Butte, Robbers Roost, Lockhart Basin and the Dirty Devil River, the story says.
The area is under increasing pressure from what monument proponents say is off-road-vehicle abuse, proposed mining and oil and gas development.
The OIA is the retailers group that brings to Utah its annual summer and winter markets, the state’s largest conventions, which draw more than 46,000 visitors and $42.5 million annually to the local economy.
For months OIA has been at odds with Utah Gov. Gary Herbert over the state’s bid to reclaim more than 30 million acres of federally-controlled public lands. If it succeeds, Utah plans to sell or lease some of that land for development.