Attend a Public Meeting on the Land Grab this Wednesday, Aug 14

Public Meeting: Can Utah Afford to Take Ownership of its Public Lands?

Wednesday, August 14, 1-3 pm
Auditorium of the State Office Building
Capitol Hill Complex, 350 North State Street

For anyone who loves Utah’s unspoiled landscapes, or who wants their tax dollars used responsibly, the obvious answer to the question above is a resounding “NO!”

So please, do what you can to attend and speak up at this meeting

This is a perfect opportunity to show that Utahns want our public lands left in public hands, not transferred to state ownership to exploit and destroy for short-term economic gain.

In 2013 the state legislature authorized a $450,000 study to analyze the economics of transferring 30 million acres of Utah’s publicly-owned federally-managed lands to the state.  This meeting invites citizens to speak with the team of economists completing the study.

Please attend Wednesday’s meeting if you can and speak out against the state’s effort to seize federal lands.

Here are some suggested points you could make:

  • State ownership of Utah’s federal lands would be an economic and environmental disaster.
  • The whole effort is an enormous waste of taxpayer dollars because the state’s own legal counsel declared that the land transfer law has “a high probability of being declared unconstitutional.”
  • State ownership would likely not make money for Utah.  Available info indicates the cost of managing federal lands is approximately equal to the additional revenue that the state might receive if it owned federal lands. (See * below.)
  • Proponents tout state ownership as a way to increase revenues by dramatically increasing dirty energy development (coal, oil and gas, oil shale, tar sands) and sidestepping federal regulations requiring consideration of environmental impacts and public comment.  This would devastate the unspoiled scenery, clean water and far-reaching vistas that now support Utah’s burgeoning outdoor recreation and tourism economies and attract new businesses and retirees to our state.
  • State ownership would exploit Utah’s unspoiled public lands for short-term economic gain, destroying lands Utahns hold precious and costing our children their natural heritage.

*The state of Utah’s Constitutional Defense Council’s “Report on Utah’s Transfer of Public Lands Act – HB 148” says that the US government spent $267 million on federal land management in Utah in 2011 and brought in $464 million.  However, revenue-sharing obligations required the federal government to give Utah $198 million of that revenue.  Thus, the federal government netted only $266 million – about the same as it paid to manage its lands.

Please spread the word about this meeting by sharing the event on Facebook.  Thanks, and we hope to see you at the meeting!