Letters: In Summit County, conservation is a family affair
December 2, 2018
A family affair
Thank you for Angelique McNaughton's thorough article describing the Ercanbrack family's commitment to preserving their land, their heritage and their legacy. The Summit Land Conservancy is thrilled that their dedication was recognized by the Sand County Foundation, which gave them the 2018 Utah Leopold Conservationist of the Year Award.
This is the second time that one of the Conservancy's landowning families achieved this honor. In 2011, the Osguthorpe family received the award, in part for finding ways to continue to steward their land while balancing agricultural and recreational uses. As many people may know, the Osguthorpe family runs sheep on land they own which is leased to Park City Mountain Resort/the Canyons during the winter. Steve Osguthorpe developed a seed mix for that land, which prevents erosion and reduces stream sediment, enhancing the watershed.
We at the Summit Land Conservancy are grateful for these families who chose to work with us to further their conservation goals. Like the Ercanbrack and Osguthorpe families, other long-time landowning families including the Fawcetts, Richins, Judds, Stoners, Siddoways, Stephens and Paces have joined with the Conservancy to preserve their farms and ranches.
America's farms and ranchlands provide benefits beyond the economics: sequestering carbon, providing habitat for wildlife and frequently protecting views of undeveloped open space for everyone to enjoy. Saving these lands saves something for all of us.
Summit Land Conservancy executive director
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A bridge rather than a wedge
While we were celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday with expressions of gratitude with our loved ones, a governmental report was released which details troubling economic, environmental, and public health consequences if meaningful action is not taken to reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change. In this time of political division, it has seemed like wishful thinking to believe that such action would be possible.
But hope has come in the form of the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act recently introduced in the House of Representatives, with both Republican and Democratic co-sponsors. This bill lays out a thoughtful, market-driven approach to reducing carbon emission, rather than creating new regulations. It also recognizes the impact of changing energy dependence has on middle-class and low-income families, and includes provisions to protect them and vital industries from undue stress.
As a longtime member of Citizens' Climate Lobby, I feel very fortunate to see a revenue-neutral bipartisan solution for an issue which affects all of us. It's about time that a response to climate change became a bridge issue, rather than a wedge issue.
West Valley City
Demand gun regulations
Parents have every right to expect safe schools for their children, and state government is obligated to do absolutely everything possible to provide them. The school safety commission focused on making school buildings more secure and adding more counselors to flag potentially dangerous students. These are important factors; however, the gun violence epidemic and gun proliferation, the core of the problem, was not addressed. Effective gun regulations are desperately needed.
A universal background check for all gun sales should help keep guns from psychopaths and criminals. And safe storage of all guns in the owner's absence should keep guns from suicidal 10- to 17-year-old males.
Every citizen has the Second Amendment right to have a gun in the home for self defense, but that does not foreclose intelligent gun regulation. 37,000 annual gun deaths remind us that without gun regulations America is a dangerous place to live. And if a violent event were to occur here, Utah parents should hold guilty legislators accountable.
Of course we need more secure school buildings and more counselors, but our children can never be safe as long as the state refuses to put the safety of children far ahead of gun rights. Parents, the PTA and UEN should demand intelligent gun regulations.
Salt Lake City
I've never been prouder of our community and this newspaper than after reading this Wednesday's Record.
What a litany of good words/news … the city is seeking 2030 net-zero! And what stellar opinion pages: editorial self pride in our schools' dual-language program; spot on letters to the editor, "Park Record Pulse" readers' comments … it goes on.
I was particularly taken by Jay Meehan's "Clockwork orange" column. Sure, it was, perhaps, excessively straight forward, but if there was ever a time when eloquent truth-saying was needed, it's now.
Thank you all.
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