Newscasts

PNS Weekend Newscast - September 23rd, 2017 


Here's a look at what we're covering: Senator John McCain says no to the GOP's health care plan, a new survey takes a look at how residents in one state feel about the effort to real Obamacare, and International Day of Peace is being celebrated this weekend.

Daily Newscasts

National Monuments Boost Utah's Economy, Report Says

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke recommends shrinking Utah's Bears Ears National Monument under a recent Trump administration executive order. (Department of the Interior)
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke recommends shrinking Utah's Bears Ears National Monument under a recent Trump administration executive order. (Department of the Interior)
July 17, 2017

SALT LAKE CITY – Public lands draw millions of visitors to Utah who support local jobs and boost revenues for surrounding communities, according to a new report by Democratic members of the Congressional Joint Economic Committee.

Each year outdoor recreation adds $12 billion in consumer spending in Utah, contributes $3.6 billion in wages and more than $850 million in state and local tax revenue.

Ashley Korenblat, managing director of the advocacy group Public Lands Solutions, says Utah's national parks and monuments are an international attraction.

"In America, we don't have castles or cathedrals, but what we do have is national parks,” she stresses. “And people from around the world want to see them and they're happy to spend money doing it."

America's national monuments are under scrutiny after President Donald Trump issued an executive order charging the Department of the Interior to review monuments designated under the Antiquities Act after 1996, including Utah's Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments.

Republican Party lawmakers maintain the federal government overstepped its authority and have urged Trump to remove or shrink the designations.

Korenblat counters that the move is a misguided attempt to open up more public lands to oil and gas development.

She argues macro-economics – notably falling oil prices – are impacting communities that rely on public lands, and says rolling back monuments would be like trying to roll back the clock,

"To a time when people could make a living off the land the old-fashioned way,” she explains. “Instead we need to embrace the new economy of the 21st century, attracting businesses who want to locate in places where their employees can get to the great outdoors."

According to the report, the National Park system in Utah welcomes more than 14 million visitors every year who inject more than $1 billion into local economies.

National parks and the outdoor recreation industry support nearly 140,000 jobs in the state.

Eric Galatas, Public News Service - UT