IVINS – U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Bureau of Land Management Director Bob Abbey presided over the dedication ceremony for two national conservation areas yesterday at the Tuacahn School for Performing Arts Amphitheater in Ivins, Utah.
Members of the public as well as state, local, and tribal officials were present to witness and take part in the ceremony which, in addition to the dedication, described the economic and outdoor recreation community benefits these areas afforded in Southern Utah.
The dedications were a long-time coming as the NCA’s were designated in a lands bill, sponsored by Sen. Bob Bennett and passed by Congress in 2009.
Salazar was seemingly jovial throughout the event despite being forewarned of a less than hearty welcome in Utah.
“I was told I might not get the warmest welcome in Utah,” Salazar said.
The reason for a possible perception of animosity towards the secretary might have something to do with his recent upholding of the mining moratorium on the Arizona Strip, a controversial subject of late for Utah residents and legislators.
Salazar, however, went on to describe Utah as one of the most stunning and beautiful places in the country.
Among distinguished guests were the retired senator, Bennett, Utah BLM Director Juan Palma, and Washington County Commissioner Alan Gardner.
Copyright 2012 St. George News.