Congressman James Hansen Retires!
We wish him the best. He deserves a long break and we are glad to see him finally take it!
Congressman Hansen came into office in 1980 after having served a lengthy stay in the state legislature. Congressman Hansen was one of the drivers behind the 1984 Utah Wilderness Act and worked hard and close with Congressman John Seiberling, a true congressional environmentalist, to get that bill through Congress. While never our knight in shining armor then and certainly not now, Congressman Hansen played a major role in adding both areas and acres to that legislation to make it more amenable to conservationists and congressman Seiberling. During those days I met with Hansen on numerous occasions in both Washington, D.C. and Utah. He was open, honest and available. He understood wilderness and played a moderating role in Utah.
The anger and harshness toward wilderness that has formed Congressman Hansen in recent times fortunately was not present in the early 1980s and we remain grateful for his support of wilderness in those days long past. We wish that he would have taken the opportunity he had to be a true leader with respect to wilderness!
We wish him the best and good health.
FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH
When Jim Hansen announced in January that he would not seek another term in the U.S. House of Representatives, the media contacted HUPC Coordinator Dick Carter for comments. Not surprisingly Dick's comments in the Salt LakeTribune and the Herald Journal (Logan) drew comments themselves. The following are two letters to the editor of the Herald Journal from Jan. 24 and 25:
"...In answer to Dick Carter's statement in the Herald (sic) 1/9/2002, about the retirement of Rep. Hansen. Quote, For some reason now, he's become a very angry man. That's not who he is. That's not the man I knew 20 years ago, unquote. He is exactly the same man I have known for better than 22 years. All that happened way back then was, he finally saw what an extreme liberal, tree-hugging environmentalist and Sierra (lock up everything wilderness) Club advocate you are...."
And this: "It was disheartening to read the quotes from some environmentalists who took this opportunity to poke jabs at his legacy... Quoting Dick Carter from the paper, he said, "For some reason now, he's become a very angry man...." I couldn't agree more. You're right that's not the man he is, but after dealing with people like you (Dick) I understand how Jim could get cross, ill-mannered or angry from time to time. Jim's comment, "I've saved the environment from the environmentalists" is priceless...."