Escalante Wilderness: Monument of the West

The World

During the 1996 election campaign, President Clinton authorized the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in the Utah wilderness. There’s not much difference between a national monument and a national park, except that the creation of national monuments doesn’t require the approval of Congress. Mr. Clinton may not have had the votes on Capitol Hill, but he did expect to get votes from the environmentally concerned public. The deal angered many local residents. Ranchers and farmers said it locked up land that had earned them their daily bread for decades. And the designation killed plans for a coal mine that might have created hundreds of jobs. Today, some folks are still mad, but dollars are beginning to flow to the community, from not- entirely-welcomed tourism. Jenny Brundin reports.

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