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Timber harvests on public forest lands degrade habitat and disturb wildlife while costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. Do you support ending timber harvests on public forest lands in order to protect Utah's forests now and for future generations?

America's public forest lands are home to half of America's wildlife species. Many species are especially sensitive to road construction, as it carves up their home ranges and separates them from other like species. Forests help create new soil and control erosion by keeping soils out of the rivers and streams. Logging public forests is highly subsidized, with costs of road construction, tree replanting and degraded habitat restoration amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars annually. The public should not pay to have their national treasures destroyed, rather such funds should be spent on restoring disturbed areas and ensuring that our forests will be around for future generations to enjoy.

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Legacy Highway

Do you support developing a better mass transit program and better urban planning as an alternative to constructing the Legacy Highway?

Legacy West Davis Highway, proposed by Governor Mike Leavitt, would be a 120-mile highway from Brigham City to Nephi, up the west side of Utah Lake, around the Great Salt Lake and finally connecting to I-15 at Brigham City. The highway's stated purpose is to accommodate what the state has projected to be a doubling in traffic over the next twenty years. The traffic problem on I-15 and along the Wasatch Front is a result of too many cars. The Legacy Highway will destroy wetlands and valuable farmland, while increasing air pollution and only providing temporary relief to the Wasatch Front traffic congestion.

The solution to this problem is not more roads, as proposed by the Legacy Highway Project, but rather smarter transportation. More roads result in "induced travel," which is the increased traffic generated by expanded road capacity. Congestion causes people to plan fewer and consolidated car trips and more efficient routes, while more roads lead to longer and more frequent trips. The Legacy Highway also poses threats to the environment. Clean air standards are already difficult to meet largely because of pollution generated along I-15, as is visibly apparent on most days. An increase in roads and cars will only further degrade the quality of Utah's air. Wetlands are of particular concern, as only 1.5 percent of Utah's land falls in this category. Seventy-five percent of these are around the Great Salt Lake. The Legacy Highway would directly trample some of these wetlands, and others would be impacted by the inevitable growth that would accompany the new roads. The Legacy Highway is estimated to cost around $2.76 billion, money that would be more wisely spent on developing and improving public transit programs to alleviate the Wasatch Front's dependence on cars.

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Clean Air

Air along the Wasatch Front is visibly polluted most days. What is your plan to clean up industry and automobile emissions so that Utah's air will be clean and safe to breathe?

The Wasatch Front's air pollution mainly comes from automobile emissions and large industries, specifically Geneva Steel, MagCorp, and Kennecott Copper. In other parts of the state, power plants, refineries and other industries are responsible. The three pollutants of highest concern in Utah are carbon monoxide, ozone, and PM10 (particulate matter smaller than 10 microns in diameter). These pollutants are toxic, smog-forming, and cause respiratory and other health problems, respectively. Air quality standards must be enforced and the polluting parties held responsible for cleanup.

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