Washington, DCToday, Representative John Curtis (R-UT), Deputy Republican Leader of the National Parks, Forest, and Public Lands Subcommittee on the House Natural Resources Committee, released the following statement after spending a week down in San Juan County in southern Utah exploring the public lands.

“I have often said that the best way to care for our public lands is to listen to those who visit the land the most – those who live, work, and play there. During my trip, I had the opportunity to discuss everything from preservation to broadband and recreation permitting to better school bus routes,” said Curtis. “My time in San Juan County was invaluable, and only proved what I already knew. We all love our public lands, want what is best for them, and if we come together and actually listen to each other, progress will come.”

While in San Juan County:

Rep. Curtis joined a group of representatives from the Hopi tribe, including Honorable Vice Chairman Clark W. Tenakhongva, Friends of Cedar Mesa (FOCM), and Woods Canyon Archeological Consultants to learn more about the tribe’s ties to the land.

Rep. Curtis and the group look over a bluff before descending the canyon
The Congressman and Honorable Vice Chairman Clark W. Tenakhongva of the Hopi Tribe

Representative Curtis spent a day on the San Juan River rafting and occasionally stopping to study ruins and other historically and spiritually significant landmarks. Accompanied by local river guides, the group discussed recreation permitting, the SOAR Act, and the way public lands legislation affects the lives of and livelihoods of those who work and play in the area.

The Congressman and staffers prepare to disembark and examine ruins

In addition to the recreational aspects of the county, Rep. Curtis toured an uranium mill and met with employees to discuss the ways the mill contributes to the rural economy. 

The Congressman introduces himself to an employee of the uranium mill
In a meeting with mill employees, Rep. Curtis examines a step in the uranium processing called “yellowcake”

Rep. Curtis called a meeting with county and city elected officials in Blanding, Utah with guest Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez which resulted in plans to work together for the benefit of all San Juan County residents.

The Congressman takes notes while a city official expresses concerns
Representative Curtis shown with President Jonathan Nez of the Navajo Nation and other locally elected officials

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