Dust settles on legislative session but Utah land war continues

Published: Sunday, March 17 2013 1:55 p.m. MDT

“We know we can either act now for pennies on the dollar to mitigate the risk, or wait around for the destruction because of the federal mismanagement and it will cost dozens of millions of dollars. “

Ivory has been the legislative architect behind much of Utah’s latest iteration of the Sagebrush Rebellion, with the majority of his Republican colleagues lining up in support.

Republican Sen. Aaron Osmond from West Jordan, for example, ran a resolution echoing the demands of Ivory’s Transfer of Public Lands Act, which passed last year and demands the federal government cede title of much of the lands it controls within Utah. A financial assessment of taking that on and what revenues may generate will now be carried out under the direction of the Governor’s Public Lands Policy Coordination Office, which is to report on the findings by November of 2014.

This session, Ivory followed up with the Constitutional and Federalism Defense Act, which establishes a legislative Federalism Commission to help Utah coordinate with other states in its quest to seek “balance” in its relationship with the federal government.

“I think the theme is that we have to begin to understand what our jurisdiction is and what their jurisdiction is and restore balance in that governing partnership,” Ivory said. “We do have to step up and act like grown ups…. Jurisdiction that we don’t exercise is no better for our citizens that jurisdiction that we don’t have.”

E-mail: amyjoi@deseretnews.com, Twitter: amyjoi16

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