Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Wasatch Front Growth...Well, Grows

A couple of interesting stories in yesterday's and today's papers about growth in Box Elder County and in Cache County. State legislators took a road tour up to Cache, and among other things, heard pitches on ag land preservation.

The Wasatch Front truly does extend now from Tremonton to Santaquin, maybe even to Nephi (there are a number of Provo area commuters living in Nephi!), with an appendage of associated growth over the mountain into Cache Valley. The Trib story on growth in Willard so echoes in my mind of some of the early growth concerns that occupied Davis County communities 25 years ago. Learn from us! Don't repeat the mistakes we made! Alas, it looks like they're going down the same roads we did. What is it about human nature that prevents us from learning from the experience of others? Do we think we're somehow different than those other schmucks?

In Cache County, the Trib reports that legislators heard impassion pitches from folks about allowing for local option programs to preserve ag land. It's always been interesting to me that one of the most conservative areas of our state has had such staunch proponents of land conservation. Evan Olsen, a Cache farmer and former state legislator, and one of the more right-wing guys I've know (skeptical of many planning programs, he), was an avid supporter of land conservation. And he'd get shot down every year in the legislature by other conservative lawmakers. And it looks that way again this year, with Senate President John Valentine saying about Sen. Craig Buttars' (another very conservative Cache legislator) proposed ag land conservation bill, "That probably won't happen."

The DesNews reports, "The most excitement -- and the speech which received the biggest applause -- was actually from House Minority Leader Ralph Becker. ... 'When we have surpluses of hundreds of millions of dollars, we should be able to find some money to help preserve those lands,' he said."

Way to go, Ralph.


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