By SHANNA GHAZNAVI
Environmental issues and IRS abuse were among the concerns U.S. Rep. Chris Cannon, R-Utah, addressed Friday in an open session with BYU students.
Cannon’s House Bill HR-1952 is trying to reduce the amount of wilderness area in Utah, said David Hymas, a senior from Layton majoring in public policy and specializing in natural resources.
Hymas said there are 3.2 million acres of wilderness study area in Utah. This study area was meant to be examined to find out how much of it is eligible to be federally protected, said Cannon.
The wilderness study area has been examined by satellite, Cannon said, and only just over one million acres should be set aside as a protected area. Cannon’s bill proposes that 2.1 million acres be protected.
Environmentalists, Hymas said, are up in arms because they feel that a million acres of land that had already been set aside as a reserve is going to be taken away by Cannon’s bill.
Hymas said Cannon suggested a dialogue with concerned environmentalists to sort out problems.
“The only way you can get a dialogue with people is if you give them incentive to talk … there is not incentive for environmentalists,” Hymas said.
Cannon said there are no plans for the development of any of the disputed land, but Hymas said the only reason there are no plans is because it is not monetarily feasible at present.
More information on Cannon’s bill can be found at www.reagan.com/mfcon/mike/HotTopics/document-6.26.1997.3.html.
Cannon compared the IRS to the emperor in the fairy tale of “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” He said the hearings to determine IRS abuses are just like the young boy in the fairy tale pointing to the fact that the emperor was naked.
The IRS focus on the poor, Cannon said, because the rich can afford accountants.
Cannon said the IRS is wrong 50 percent of the time when it mails letters to people saying that they owe money. He also said the IRS spent $4 million on a new computer system just to “junk it.”
“There is something deeply wrong with the American system,” he said.
Cannon said 80 percent of drug crimes in Salt Lake City are committed by illegal aliens. The jails are unable to deal with all the drug related arrests made, Cannon said, and many times criminals are set free.
To alleviate the strain put on the state government by drug arrests, the state will arrange for illegal aliens to be prosecuted by the federal government, Cannon said.