SALT LAKE CITY --- When President Barack Obama announced the creation of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, Utah wilderness advocates cheered and Congressman Rob Bishop groaned.
"The president is doing these as a political issue, for political purposes, not for land preservation purposes," said Rep. Rob Bishop, Utah's First District Congressman, who champions land use issues from a conservative perspective on the House Natural Resources Committee.
But the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance hopes Utah is next on the President's list:
"We were very excited because the president did act to protect a large landscape in the west, and it's our large scenic landscapes that make the west so special and that are important to us economically," said Terri Martin, Western Regional Organizer with SUWA.