Public lands war heats up between SUWA, Gov. Gary Herbert


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  • UtahLover Lehi, UT
    Jan. 3, 2013 9:59 p.m.

    It surprises me by the number of you that actually think SUWA is the greatest thing to ever happen. I would bet a lot of money on the fact that all of you that wrote those comments have never even seen what they are trying to take away from you. Do you even realize that the land currently belongs to YOU, and they are trying to take it away from you to protect the "wilderness". I am all for national parks and state parks, but taking away land to protect the sandstone and rock? Nature is going to get rid of it before we ever could! If you think that they take it away to protect the plants and animals, then you obviously haven't seen what they are trying to take away! I also like the fact that all of you think that ATV riders are some satanic monsters that come and eat up beauty! HA HA HA HA HA HA! If you have even been to true Utah wilderness you know how funny the whole thing sounds!

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 30, 2012 6:18 p.m.

    Under the US Constitution, Art. 1, Sec. 8, Clause 17, and the 10th amendment, the Federal Government can not exercise exclusive jurisdiction or own land in Utah, unless it is for Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings, and it was purchased by the Consent of the Utah Legislature.

    When Utah became a state, the Federal Government committed to selling the unappropriated public lands, extinguishing the title, and providing 5% of the proceeds of the sales to the State School Trust Fund.
    I believe it would be better to have the land transferred to Utah as opposed to requiring the Federal Government sell the land to developers or other countries like China. The Utah State Constitution is designed to protect the Public Land based on Article XVIII, Section 1, Forests to be preserved, and Article XX, Section 1, Land grants accepted on terms of trust.

    If the Federal Government sells or transfers any public land to Utah or others, 5% of the proceeds of the sales should got to the School Trust Fund. There is a gaping loophole in that process which I have been working on to close.

  • Red Smith American Fork, UT
    July 25, 2012 6:08 p.m.

    Go, Governor Herbert. Western States have been the whipping boy for the Eastern environmentalist for years.

    New Jersey has 3% government land and 97% private land. So it goes in the East.

    Utah can best manage Utah. Keep up the good work. You have my vote and support.GO GOV!

  • L Central, Utah
    July 24, 2012 9:55 p.m.

    @RCS Orem, UT

    "It should have been Utah land all along. When Utah became a state, it was not afforded the rights and privileges that had been guaranteed to the original states of the Union, and which were promised to all subsequent states. The federal government failed to keep its promise. I suppose we have the right to charge them "back taxes" on the land they withheld from the State and her citizens from the beginning of statehood. If you are a Utahn, you deserve your land. Simple."

    RCS You might check the history, for instance Connecticut was required to give up all it's western land that extended clear over to the Cleveland area, which is still called "The Western Reserve" even by many businesses. Maybe it should be "given back" to Conn.

    Most of the Western States have public lands within their borders, maybe Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho and Nevada should own those lands in those states too. Alaska has the most, they will be really rich.

    I think it is foolish to spend my money (I am a Utah taxpayer) to even promote something that the State's own attorneys say doesn't have a chance.

  • OLD-GUY Central, Utah
    July 24, 2012 9:27 p.m.

    Some interesting observations and certainly what many out-of-state people I deal with think of Utahans. We continue to hurt ourselves politically in many places!

    From what I read in the Utah constitution, those lands, except those which were patented and those expressly given to the State (Sections 2, 6, 32 & 36) are federal lands. Of course there have been sales, trades & purchases by both.

    I think the proposal would even lower the price and saleability of lands currently on the market.

    I think the new owners would be those individuals or companies who are financially able to buy large tracts. Even the surveying and rights-of-way to a bunch of smaller tracts is$$$.

    I think it would cost Utah residents money. The State can't manage the lands it currently has and has talked about closing State Parks.

    I propose a study by someone like Harvard Business School to do a complete and unbiased financial analysis, including costs for admistation, things like rights-of-way, appraised values, expected taxes, income etc. That might be a better use of money rather than legal battles.

    Invest in NO-TRESSPASSING signs!

  • The Sky Ogden, UT
    July 24, 2012 2:38 p.m.

    A lot of these comments make me laugh. First, we are citizens of the United States of America. Utah is part of that nation. Not its own nation. Our state constitution is subservient to the greater law, which is the Constitution of the USA. What is even funnier, is that our constitution has a section highlighting federal vs. state land, and in it, it says that the state is giving its land, as a way of saying we are forever binding ourselves, through the agreement of statehood, to the superior statute or the United STATES of America. What Herbert is doing is illegal. It is in direct violation of our state consititution and state law. Also, and I can't believe most of you who support this bill, why you can't see this, but this isn't going to benefit Utahans in the slightest. If the state were to win, which it won't (any lawyer can see that our constitution is being violated by this bill) the purpose is to benefit a few and the state will get a one time reward, but that'll be wipped out by our legal bills. This is foolish to support.

  • RCS Orem, UT
    July 23, 2012 11:32 p.m.

    It should have been Utah land all along. When Utah became a state, it was not afforded the rights and privileges that had been guaranteed to the original states of the Union, and which were promised to all subsequent states. The federal government failed to keep its promise. I suppose we have the right to charge them "back taxes" on the land they withheld from the State and her citizens from the beginning of statehood. If you are a Utahn, you deserve your land. Simple.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    July 23, 2012 9:04 p.m.

    Re: "This isn't a conservative or a liberal issue, this is a common sense issue."

    Whenever a liberal tree-hugger says something like this, rest assured it IS a liberal issue, one that defies common sense.

  • Opinionated Me Holladay, UT
    July 23, 2012 8:23 p.m.

    These land belong to America. To take public lands out of federal control and give them to Utah means stealing these lands from Americans in the other 49 states. Governor Herbert will niot succeed inn this effort, and as a result, he'll look like an even bigger fool than he already does.

  • Demo Dave Holladay, UT
    July 23, 2012 8:17 p.m.

    "What they're saying is you people in Utah are not good enough, not strong enough, not smart enough to manage your own lands...." That's right, we're not.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    July 23, 2012 8:06 p.m.

    If any of you who claim SUWA "locks up" the land, just wait until Herbert and his developer buddies get their hands on it.
    You'll wish you could lace up a pair of boots and hike in.
    The fact is, SUWA hasn't locked anything up. Wilderness, by definition, can't have roads in it.
    Do you really believe a paved road would ever be built to Lone Peak, or do you agree it really is a wilderness.
    Everyone should thank SUWA for their work. Seriously, the worst thing that could happen for everyone is for the State to take over the federal land in Utah.
    The State can't even sufficiently fund the State Parks, how do any of you expect them to fund recreation on these lands?
    The BLM has done a much better job of stewardship than Herbert could ever dream of.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    July 23, 2012 7:56 p.m.

    We all need to hope and pray SUWA wins this one.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    July 23, 2012 7:36 p.m.

    The Shingle fire not far from the Zion area was started by a guy on an ATV with a defective spark arrestor on a Sunday afternoon at approximately 3:30 p.m. when Utah state government is not working. No state has the resources nor capability to do what needed to be done. It took a joint effort from various federal agencies from various states in the West and including Alaska. Other western states are strapped with fires and droughts that prevent them from coming to our aid with reciprocal agreements. The federal government has various areas and regions that can respond. We pay for the common welfare of citizens that live in other states. There is a balance and there is accountability in the form of voting but not enough people vote and you get what others may have voted for. It is not perfect but it is so much better than 99 percent of what the world has. Many of the commenters are probably involved in more than commenting but others just sit and don't know what is going on or care as long as they have their needs met or handed to them on a platter.

  • Ed Meyer Kanab, UT
    July 23, 2012 6:10 p.m.

    We need to understand that SUWA is part of an environmental industry whose agenda is to NOT resolve environmental issues. To resolve these issues is to put their organization's employees out of work. Consequently, even when their actions do not advance the interests of the environment, I fully expect them to do everything possible to seek continued conflict rather than working to reasonably resolve areas of disagreement. In today's world of energy shortage and unemployement it seems that areas of compromise can be found where everyone wins, not just the staff of environmental lobbyists.

  • Brer Rabbit Spanish Fork, UT
    July 23, 2012 5:36 p.m.

    Little to do about nothing. The federal government will never give up any of the land that it kept illegally when Utah became a state. Environmentalists relax nothing will happen.

    July 23, 2012 4:30 p.m.

    He's right! Utah can't afford to keep it's State Parks going now, much less take on funding more lands. These lands that are now maintained by the Federal Government would fall into disrepair. Let the feds maintaintain as much land in Utah as they will! It's a bargain! Utah has had a lot of federal land right from the start. The money that is brought in to our economy by tourism just in our National Parks is far more that anything Utah could do with the land.

    Also, the goveror is wasting taxpayer money on these lawsuits that will be in the courts for years. Think what good this money could be doing in the proper channels!

  • jrgl CEDAR CITY, UT
    July 23, 2012 4:28 p.m.

    Utah can't afford to fight the wildfires without the feds help. Utah can't afford to manage all these areas. Those lands don't belong to Utah, they belong to all Americans. Herbert is going to waste a lot of money in this silly legal battle which is going to hurt Utahn's in the long run. Less money to manage the State Parks that are set for closure or have closed already. Utah is in over it's head on this one. I don't necessarily support SUWA, but I can't see how we could fight fires and manage the lands we think we have a right to (which we don't).

  • The Sky Ogden, UT
    July 23, 2012 3:34 p.m.

    This isn't a conservative or a liberal issue, this is a common sense issue. Who introduced the Bill? IVORY, as in Ivory homes. What profession does the Gov. come from? Real Estate... What is the main purpose of this bill? To sell the land to private interests. Who benefits? Utahans? NO!! But the Govenor and his cronies. Not the people of Utah. Yes, we might get something back, but it'll be a one time return, and it won't be anything compared to what the corrupt officials of this state will get. Once the land is gone, it is gone, and owned by someone else. NOT BY UTAHANS. Don't you get it people? We will LOSE our land. No more access!! IT WON'T BELONG TO US!! Get this through your heads. This is not a winning situation for Utahans. No hunting, hiking, biking, backpacking, day trips into the backcountry. Think about the added pollution from development, the loss of tourism dollars. Do we want to live in a state where we, the citizens, can't access the land? I don't want to be like Texas or Arkansas. I'm smarter than them. Save Our Land!

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    July 23, 2012 3:24 p.m.

    @Brian B

    Who exactly is Utah "getting our lands back" from? Who is the original owner of that land? When did Utah ever "own" the land the federal government now owns?

    Inquiring minds would like to know?

  • Brian B Sandy, UT
    July 23, 2012 2:48 p.m.

    I support Gov Herbert in getting our lands back. North Dakota is using their land and resources to lower the unemployment in the state and create a Billion dollar Surplus from oil and gas drilling on those lands. North Dakota has around 4 billion barrels of recoverable oil in there state and in Montana. Utah has 19 billion barrels of oil in Tar Sands around the state. We can lower our tax burdens for our schools, balance our budget and lower our unemployment rate with responsible access to our own lands.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    July 23, 2012 2:17 p.m.

    So Flashback wants to increase state taxes. Interesting.

    Or will Flashback let us know exactly which tax funded things he wants to eliminate?

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    July 23, 2012 2:05 p.m.

    One old man, you just made the case for less government from the Feds. If Utah is getting $1.30 back from the Feds for every dollar we contribute in taxes, then we are getting too much back and the Federal Budget is out of whack. No one wants all the lands to be developed. Just the land that will benefit the state and its taxpayers.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    July 23, 2012 2:01 p.m.

    The SUWA is wrong on several accounts. The most blatant is their contention in their commercials that property values will go down when a whole bunch of real estate goes on the private market. Personally, I find that laughable. No real estate in Grand County, Wayne County, Uninta County, Carbon County, Tooele County, Box Elder County, San Juan County, Kane County, Washington County, Emery County, et al, is going to affect my property values in Kearns.

    What I want, and what the SUWA won't tell you is for the School Trust Lands locked up in these Federally owned parcels, to start making money for the schools through energy and mineral development. Some of that money can and will go to the administration of those lands. The state will make money with the royalties that such development will bring. The SUWA saying that administration of these lands will drain the state is pure bunk. And the sad thing is, they know it but they lie just like anyone else and it is their way or the highway.

  • Belching Cow Sandy, UT
    July 23, 2012 1:22 p.m.

    Some people say they have been shut out of public lands. Can someone elaborate? Do you mean you can't access some areas with an ATV or vehicle? Cause that is the way it should be. No one is shutting you out, just get off your ATV and go in. If you don't like peace and quiet go somewhere where ATVs are allowed. Some land needs to be reserved for non-motorized activities. When I go into the back country I like to enjoy nature and have some peace and quiet.

    Does anyone actually know what the state of Utah plans to do with the land once in their control? I need to know the answer to that question before I decide which side I'm on.

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    July 23, 2012 12:32 p.m.

    @Danish American

    So selling off all the land in the state to private interests so we can be just like the other states is what you are recommending?

    It is all a moot point. There is absolutely no way the yocals from Utah will reign supreme over the federal government in this case. It is waste of time and resources.

  • Danish American Payson, UT
    July 23, 2012 12:28 p.m.

    Look st most of the states in the East and Midwest--many have few Federally owned acres of land. Kansas, North Dakota, Oklahoma mostly privately owned land. While the liberals, including many who responded to this article, go on about so-called fairness, why shouldn't we have the ability to manage our own lands. Go to Oklahoma or Texas HS Fan and tell them you have the right to do whatever you want to do on their land and see what happens.

    July 23, 2012 12:17 p.m.

    This whole argument boils down to one truth. The vast majority of federal land in Utah was considered absolutely worthless. It was not capable of sustaining any kind of industry. Utah was then very willing to turn over this useless, unwanted land to the federal government. Now that the energy industry is interested, all of a sudden Utah wants the land back.
    If you sell a piece of land, and several decades later the current owners discover a vein of gold, you cannot go back and sue for the return of the land!

  • Curmudgeon Salt Lake City, UT
    July 23, 2012 12:09 p.m.

    What hyprocrisy (or ignorance) the Governor, legislaure, as well as uninformed commenters here, show, in claiming that federal lands belong to the state. Consider these facts:
    1. The United States existed before the state, or even the territory, of Utah.
    2. The people of the Utah territory petitioned the United States for admission as a state.
    3. The vast majority of the citizens of Utah profess to be law-abiding, and Mormons in particular believe in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.
    3. In the Enabling Act, as a condition of admission, the people of the territory of Utah relinquished all claims to unappropriated lands:

    That the people inhabiting said proposed State do agree and declare that they forever disclaim all right and title to the unappropriated public lands lying within the boundaries thereof; and to all lands lying within said limits owned or held by any Indian or Indian tribes; and that until the title thereto shall have been extinguished by the United States, the same shall be and remain subject to the disposition of the United States . . . .

    Now the Governor, legislature, and states' rights zealots want to ignore their predecessors' legally binding promise. Hypocrisy indeed.

  • justamacguy Manti, UT
    July 23, 2012 11:46 a.m.

    Yep. SUWA and the envirowacks will support the Federal Government in miss managing our natural resources out of business. Prairie Dog on endangered list (poisoned to the brink of extinction by the BLM). Mule deer in decline (not one so-called winter range chaining by the USFS or BLM done in specification required in range restoration manual published by USFS, DWR and BLM). Wildfires rage across Utah in dry season (no timely response to fuels build up like grazing cheat grass ranges in the springtime by BLM or USFS). Decline of aspen type forests (no control harvest of evergreen competition that is killing aspen). Beatle killing spruce across Utah forests (no management logging by USFS of overgrowth of spruce stressing trees). Beatle kill trees not removed for forest health and use in the economy as building materials (no logging by USFS, buy from foreign source cutting rain forest). Yep... we need SUWA and the federal government. Not.

  • Utes Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    July 23, 2012 11:29 a.m.

    "The Gov has got my vote and support with his stance of having Utah manage Utah! SUWA is a eco terrist group that would leave me out of access to lands my family and I have been using for generations. GO GOV!"

    You might want to rethink your stance. Since the governor went against the unanimous Utah Supreme Court decision on the stream access issue a few years ago, and signed away access to rivers and streams that the unanimous Supreme Court ruling stated that the public has a right to access, it is clear to me that the governor is NOT interested in the public's right to use the public's property, but is interested in transferring it to the private, wealthy who will lock it up.

  • stuff Provo, UT
    July 23, 2012 11:09 a.m.

    Hooray for Governor Herbert! The Governor doesn't have just a small faction of people supporting this lawsuit, as stated by opposing groups. Rather, he has hundreds of thousands of state residents who support this.

    Any increased costs will be paid for by the improved management of the land. So, the scare tactics about costs are absolutely bogus.

    This will be nothing but a boon to the state. And, we know how to take care of and properly preserve the land. It's not going to be trashed.

  • Lilljemalm Gilbert, AZ
    July 23, 2012 10:30 a.m.

    The Utah legislature has chosen a fools errand with his one. Even though they have a valid argument, it is probably not fiscally a good idea. Note that the state successsfully used similar arguements sevrral decades ago to take ownership of the Great Salt Lake and Utah Lake from the feds. The current situation, however, came out of frustration which in part was caused by SUWA. When the state government and federal government agreed to land swaps similar to what Colorado and Arizona did to allow better management of their lands, SUWA stopped them. When the state proposed that the feds set aside certain lands, such as Desolation Canyon and the Deep Creek Range as wilderness areas, SUWA opposed it because they didn't include certain small parcels. SUWA's philosophy has been 'all or nothing.' If they weren't so extreme and intrusive, this wouldn't be going on and Utah's public lands would be managed very differently than they are now. I don't know which is worse, this bill pushing the state into a law suit with the federal government or SUWA.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    July 23, 2012 10:26 a.m.

    The Federal government is not always the answer but with their systems in place, with public comment and a broad range of agencies involved with many aspects of their processes, we do have an opportunity to say what happens to the land use. It is not just for Utahns to say. It is interesting that the Utah Attorney General has been involved in this process for quite a while and that office is not even mentioned in his article. I know the Governor and Attorney General don't always get along with each other, but the Attorneys General for several Western States have issues with public lands and are working together. In the article, Mr. Realtor and Developer Ivory brings up the States and their actions in 1828. For a person interested in money those states back then were not the kind of states developed in the West. The State of Utah cannot manage all the federal lands that lie within our state's borders. Developers want the water, beneficial property for views and development so they can do a daybreak type of thing in Zion and Bryce national park and not just a Ruby's Inn that dates to 1916.

  • KSC Sandy, UT
    July 23, 2012 10:20 a.m.

    It is ironic that SUWA is now using the term "Land Grab". Backed by their support, litigation and lies, the Federal Government has been Land Grabbing for decades. It is about time that Utah, (and the other affected states), take some bold steps to return to the people of Utah that which is part of Utah: our heritage and lifestyle.

    If you are a SUWA supporter, why not allow Utah to manage their own lands and then work to influence policy within the state of Utah? Oh yes, that is because most of the SUWA supporters are from out of state and therefore do not have voting mass within Utah. Their only choice is to take the control of Utah, away from Utahans, so that they can force their outside will upon the people of Utah.

    One hundred percent support to Governor Herbert on this one. The ad campaign by SWUA just motivated me to make another donation to USA-ALL (Utah Shared Access Alliance).

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    July 23, 2012 9:51 a.m.

    Doug Chee and Busy Mom are prime examples of the misinformation so commonly held by Utahns.

    Doug claims that we send taxes to the Feds and get "only a small percentage back." Not true! Utah receives about $1.30 for every dollar we send the Feds. Which is about the same as many other Red states that claim to hate Federal spending so much.

    Busy Mom needs to go study Utah history again. Utah never has owned those Federal lands. Never. And as for those lands solving all our education funding problems? Pure nonsense.

    You all know the definition of a "liberal" don't you? A liberal is simply someone who refuses to let anyone delude him by accepting as fact false information. A liberal actually THINKS before deciding.

  • Prodicus Provo, UT
    July 23, 2012 9:35 a.m.

    busymom123, speaking of education, you might try going back to 4th grade Utah history. These lands have never been managed by Utah; there was no "federal takeover." The federal government purchased these lands from Mexico in 1848; federal ownership of these lands was reaffirmed in the Utah Enabling Act of 1894 which set forth the conditions for Utah becoming a state.

    Herbert, Swallow, and the State Legislature are trying to make an unconstitutional land grab (even the Legislature's own legal counsel attached a note to the bill saying that it had zero chance of standing up to judicial scrutiny and would simply cost the state a whole lot of legal fees trying to defend the indefensible). So much for these supposed conservatives' much-vaunted respect for the Constitution! Even if they succeeded, managing the lands would be a huge financial burden on the state, and an increase in exploitation of natural resources is often associated with a *decrease* in the strength of the local economy (look up the "resource curse" paradox and Dutch disease for some explanation).

    There's no way on earth this is the answer to our problems funding education.

  • Wayne Rout El Paso, TX
    July 23, 2012 9:19 a.m.

    Wow, so the federal government can do a better job than the state? I've never heard of that ever happening. The federal government can't afford to do anything, they just don't know it yet. The idea that things are best done by Obama is not working. Place the control with the state and it will cost less, be more responsive to all the people, and allow the citizens access to their public lands.

  • Spirtree Centerville, UT
    July 23, 2012 9:14 a.m.

    The Gov has got my vote and support with his stance of having Utah manage Utah! SUWA is a eco terrist group that would leave me out of access to lands my family and I have been using for generations. GO GOV!

  • photobeauty Blanding, UT
    July 23, 2012 9:03 a.m.

    Those of us who have seen the heavy hand of federal agencies spurred on by extremists are in a knowledgeable position to comment on the issue of the state receiving control of land now controlled by the BLM and the US Forest Service. I support Governor Herbert in this action. These lands belong to the people of Utah. The wealth that will come to the state when multiple use is properly implemented will more than make up for loss of federal funds. Besides, the federal government is rapidly going bankrupt and is not a good model for the state to follow. The current federal management plans are aimed at denying access to people who want nothing more than to see and enjoy. I have already been shut out of places I love to visit and each new plan from SUWA brings more restrictions and denial of access.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 23, 2012 8:55 a.m.

    "5.7 million" environmental wackos are usually wrong.

    SUWA folks need to take a good hike and leave land management to the grown ups used to dealing with responsible issues, nut just issuing outrageous press releases.

    Gotta go with Gov. Herbert on this one, and with anyone else SUWA opposes on anything else.

  • HS Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    July 23, 2012 8:47 a.m.

    Going to donate another grand to SUWA. SUWA exists because of politcans like Herbert. These are public lands and don't belong to Utahns. Proximity does not give us more rights than citizens living outside the state. Thank God to SUWA!!

  • DougChee LAYTON, UT
    July 23, 2012 8:41 a.m.

    SUWA is wrong on this one, as they usually are. The responsibility for public lands in Utah should rest with those who reside here and stand to lose or benefit the most from any regulations. SUWA simply wants the federal gov't in control because then every other liberal crony in the country will determine what is right for us in Utah. We need to get the Federal government out of everything that we can. We send the money to Washington in the first place and then get a small percentage of it back. The money should stay here in Utah where we as a state have control over how it will be spent. The federal government is nothing more than a huge black hole of bloated bureacracy and is the least capable organization when it comes to getting value for the dollars spent.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    July 23, 2012 8:36 a.m.

    Utah lunacy is frequently demonstrated in the Governor's office and, of course, in our infamous loonislature. Thank goodness there are organizations like SUWA to try to stop it with occasional doses of sanity.

  • busymom123 Mapleton, UT
    July 23, 2012 8:31 a.m.

    Utah should manage their land. They were doing fine until the feds took it over. Why wouldn't we be fine now? From what I see in the news there appears to be much more illegal stuff going on in the land than were ever going on before.

    With the costs of Common Core (Education) getting more and more visible, the Governor has to have some resource of income if we can't currently get it. Supposedly the current changes in Common Core isn't going to cost Utah a dime., but those who are watching the costs know that it does cost and will cost. I don't see managing our own lands as a problem.

  • @TheInfamousUTD Salt Lake City, UT
    July 23, 2012 8:15 a.m.

    The funny thing about eminent domain is that you need to pay for the land first. I see our budget every year and we are just scraping by since our budget must be balanced by the end of each legislative general session. We can't afford to buy the land even if it was constitutional, which it isn't. So, now we spend money on legal battles we cannot win.

    Even if we got the land we cannot afford to maintain it. One wildfire could cost our entire discretionary budget for a year or two.

    This issue was not thought through very well. It is a money pit either way it goes.

  • Doug10 Roosevelt, UT
    July 23, 2012 8:07 a.m.

    I am guessing Gov Herbert has run out of things to govern, so he is suing the federal government. No wonder people sue McDonalds for spilled hot coffee.

    By suing the fed government he can fight unemployment by keeping the lawyers busy and working. Like other elected people from Utah Gov Herbert is out of touch with the regular taxpayer, money means nothing to him.

    By the time this washes out expect another 12 million to be kicked in by the losing party, that being the taxpayer.

    When I go in the backcountry I do not care if the state or the feds own it. It does cost money to maintain so I am guessing Herbert can pay for it out of his never ending supply of state funds

  • hymn to the silent Holladay, UT
    July 23, 2012 8:02 a.m.

    SUWA has gone way to far, closing off access to lands that were once open to recreational use by everybody: hikers, bikers, ATVs...since when does an organization made up mostly of out-of-state liberals know more about what the local public wants than the local public? SUWA has been an economic disaster for the state. Time to get back to fair and balanced. I enjoy all forms of outdoor recreation, have generations of ranchers in my family line, and I'm sick and tired of Clinton, Obama, Bush (designated military training zones) and all other federal politicians kicking our lands around to make points with special interest groups. The state managed things just fine for hundreds of years. The federal government in Utah has a long history of gong against the will of the public. I'm certain we can find solutions that keep everybody happy, employed and enjoying the incredible place that Utah is...without politicians who have never even visited here!

  • andyjaggy American Fork, UT
    July 23, 2012 7:38 a.m.

    SUWA is extreme but I still support them. I feel like Gov Herbert is so far out there that you have to fight extremism with extremism, maybe then we will end up in the middle.

    First it's unconstitutional.

    Then, how much have the feds spent on fires this year alone? Add to that the 300 million spent every year managing the lands.... We should thank them for doing such a good job that we can sit back and benefit from the billions of tourism dollars spent here.

    The state having full control would open the flood gates for corruption and crony capitalism.

    ATV riders complain about the lack of access. If you think access is bad now just wait until the no ATV sign is replaced by a private property no trespassing sign.

    The Wellsville mountains in Utah were once private land. The citizens below the mountains got so fed up with the erosion and flooding caused by poor management they pooled their money together and purchased the lands themselves, they then donated them to the Forest Service.

    If you want to know what it's like without public lands move to Ohio.

    Just remember Cooke/Rampton this November.

  • JimLynch King George, VA
    July 23, 2012 7:36 a.m.

    Instead of focusing on lands tht are owned by all US taxpayers, Gov. Herbert should focus on the sound management of lands owned by Utah taxpayers. Let's hear some bragging about how great that's being done. Are the Utah state parks the best in the nation? Do folks from all over the country flock to them? The US taxpayer owned lands in Utah are among the most visited in the country. It's mystifying why Governor Herbert wouuldn't be exploiting those golden eggs. Don't kill the goose Gov. Herbert!

  • oldrunner Ogden, UT
    July 23, 2012 7:34 a.m.

    There is plenty of private land for developers to develop on. They want the land for free or very cheap. You need to see this for what it is; a land grab, by some very wealthy people. There is plenty of private land that they could buy, but they consider the price too high. The alternative, get the government to give you the land. Wake up Utah. When they say that they want to take the land back from the Feds and share it with the developers, what they are really saying is that they want to take it from you and me and give it to their rich partners or keep it for themselves.

  • aunt lucy Looneyville, UT
    July 23, 2012 7:08 a.m.

    Go Governor Herbert!! This Uthan stands behind you!

  • chaliceman Salt Lake City, UT
    July 23, 2012 6:56 a.m.

    If SUWA is against it, then I am against it. Now that should really clear up the issue.

  • ute alumni Tengoku, UT
    July 23, 2012 6:56 a.m.

    feds always do a better job of everything, just look at the financial condition of the country. it is UTAH's land. let them deal with it.

  • Reader Sandy, UT
    July 23, 2012 6:40 a.m.

    Give the land back to Utah and it will be overrun with oil companies, SUVs, and ATVs.

  • embarrassed Utahn! Salt Lake City, UT
    July 23, 2012 6:32 a.m.

    A whole lot of Utahns rail at government intrusion and wasteful spending, and they'll quietly sit by and watch Herbert waste millions of taxpayer dollars. Hypocrisy?

  • Caissamatic Orem, UT
    July 22, 2012 11:43 p.m.

    If SUWA is against it, then I am for it.