BY REBECCA PALMER
BOUNTIFUL — Not long after the Department of the Interior sent a letter criticizing plans for the West Davis Corridor, Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, sent the head of the department a scathing letter of reprimand.
“The analysis submitted by the department was distasteful, callous and wrong,” reads the Sept. 17 letter from Bishop.
Utah’s first district, which Bishop represents, includes Davis County north of Layton and all of western Davis County, meaning much of the proposed land is in Bishop’s district.
His main concern is that the Interior Department’s comments said protecting wetlands and avoiding the Glover Lane route proposed by the Utah Department of Transportation would be best.
Moving the route elsewhere, however, would require the demolition of more homes and private property.
“The issue at hand is homes,” Bishop said in a Tuesday interview with the Clipper. “One of the efforts would destroy a whole lot more personal private property, homes and business, than the other. To me that should have supreme value.”
While fellow Rep. Chris Stewart declined to comment on the corridor plans, citing federalism and not wanting to get involved in a state issue, Bishop said he got involved because a federal agency had involved itself inappropriately.
“It was a federal agency that decided to involve themselves in a local concern,” Bishop said. He also called the comments public lies.
“(They were) unusual and excessive and totally inaccurate, and based on the concept that some wetlands are more important than other wetlands,” he said. “Those kind of statements, those kind of very emotional statements, will not be tolerated.”
Bishop, who also took on public agencies regarding the Legacy Parkway, has not spoken publicly against federal agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers, which also criticized UDOT in public comments.
“When I do it will probably be a different type of response to them because they did it in a different type of manner,” Bishop said.