In a November 9, 2014 Deseret News op-ed, Michele Straube, Director of the Environmental Dispute Resolution Program at the Wallace Stegner Center for Land, Resources and the Environment at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law, stresses the importance of dialogue in resolving land-use issues.
To support her argument, Straube uses the example of a recent agreement in Daggett County that brought together elected officials, conservationists, energy companies, ORV users, non-motorized recreationists, and others. By working together and openly discussing issues, the parties arrived at an outcome in which, Straube writes, “all got a lot of what they needed and valued.”
“What can be learned from this experience that might prompt a similar resolution in other counties in Utah?” Straube asks, and then sets forth a list that involves focusing on needs, not ideology; striving for consensus; and being realistic.
“The public-lands agreement in Daggett County reflects the competing interests’ willingness to take the risk to engage in meaningful dialogue, which has resulted in a multifaceted solution that has the players whispering, ‘Problem solved,’” Straube writes. “The next step is congressional enactment of this historic agreement.”
To read Michele Straube’s Deseret News op-ed, click here »