Realistic solutions for education funding and stewardship of public lands
As educators and proponents of public education, we support increased, sustainable funding for our public schools and meaningful stewardship of the publicly owned natural landscapes central to our quality of life.
Our overarching goal is to protect and improve the physical, intellectual, social, and spiritual well being of Utah’s children.
We feel compelled, therefore, to oppose two recent actions by the state of Utah: the Transfer of Public Lands Act (HB 148), which demands title to 30 million acres of federal land, and the filing of 22 lawsuits claiming highway rights-of-way for thousands of miles of dirt routes, including some in our national parks. Based on preliminary estimates, we believe these initiatives will cost the state millions of dollars without producing lasting benefits for education or our children.
Under the Transfer of Public Lands Act, our national forests, the redrock deserts and canyons surrounding our national parks, and even Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, would be managed to maximize short-term revenues. If the state prevails in its rights-of-way claims, our national parks, wild lands, and other scenic treasures would be degraded as existing protections are nullified or diminished.
We set a poor example for our children by pursuing such courses of action. We call on our elected leaders to take another path: demonstrate long-term planning for public education, environmental stewardship, and priorities that honor future generations.