Residents Oppose Monument Status

CASTLE DALE?Many residents in this central Utah town don’t want to see the San Rafael Swell turned into a national monument despite the plan’s backing from state and local leaders.

Most of the 150 residents who attended a town meeting with Gov. Mike Leavitt on Wednesday opposed creating the 620,000-acre San Rafael Western Heritage National Monument. Leavitt announced the idea in his State of the State Address and in a letter to President Bush two weeks ago.

Several locals were infuriated by Leavitt’s statement that a monument “has the full support of Utah’s congressional delegation.” Leavitt says the monument would give locals more input on the land’s future use.