As expected, the Utah legislature has just passed two bills that strengthen Utah’s attempts to seize control of federal public lands in Utah. Both bills have been sent to Governor Gary Herbert’s office for his signature.
The Utah legislature is demanding title to
public lands such as the Grand Staircase-
Escalante National Monument. Photo
copyright James Kay.
If you are from outside Utah, call Governor Herbert’s office today at 1-800-705-2464.
The first bill — SJR 13 — is a joint resolution that urges the Governor and Utah’s delegation “to work to obtain from the federal government the transfer of [federal] lands to this state.” The resolution doubles down on The Transfer of Public Lands Act — the bill signed by Governor Herbert last year that demands the federal government hand over 30 million acres of public land to the state by December 31, 2014.
The second bill — HB 142 — goes even further by requiring the state to set up a permanent process for taking title to the land and to detail ways to increase revenue from those lands.
Theanti-federal actions taken by the Utah legislature — along with the 20+ lawsuits that the state has filed against the federal government claiming ownership of so-called roads many of which are really wash bottoms, or faint tracks in the desert — are bad for Utah and bad for the public lands we love. The truth is, the state can’t possibly afford the nearly $300 million the federal government now spends annually to manage public lands in Utah — so it will be forced to sell off large tracts of public land and to lease much of the rest to destructive extractive industries.
Thank you for standing with us in the fight to protect Utah’s incredible wilderness lands.