Comments about ‘Herbert signs bill demanding feds cede public lands to Utah’

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Published: Friday, March 23 2012 4:00 p.m. MDT

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Provo, UT

This absolutely is a "matter of chest-thumping." No matter what you think of the BLM you have to face these facts: the bill is completely unconstitutional, the Legislature has been advised by its legal counsel that it's unconstitutional and that we'll have to waste state funds trying to defend the indefensible in court, and they did it anyway to try to show off.

I don't agree with Dabakis on very many things, but he's right that our legislature does quite a lot of pointless "message bills." If the Legislature wants to express an opinion they can do it by passing a resolution; they shouldn't fill our state code with garbage and waste our state funds trying to enforce or defend unconstitutional bills.

West Valley, UT

$3mil that could be used for so many other things. Federal trumps State... or did Gov. Herbert miss that day in Civics class?

A voice of Reason
Salt Lake City, UT

I was pretty disappointed in Herbert over the sex education veto- but this he most certainly has my full support on.

1- I believe that Utah land should be... Utahn?

2- I also believe in honoring what you have agreed to. And if the Fed hasn't met their word- clearly Utah has a right to regain what is rightfully ours.

N. Las Vegas, NV

Demand? You demand? Good luck on this one Governor.

Salt Lake City, UT

$3 million message?! I didn't know Utah legislators had that kind of money to throw away. Oh yeah, it's easy to spend when it's not yours.

Steven S Jarvis
Orem, UT

That stunning vista attached to the article. It'd be a shame if my children and grandchildren lose being able to go there.

Seriously, I was annoyed heavily when the Clinton administration came in under the cover of night and declared a national monument, but realize that this piece of legislation is only going to enrich the lives of lawyers at the expense of children. The scope of the seizure was too big. They needed to file small FIRST, then if that was successful go for more. You NEVER put all your money down on the table for the first roll. The smarter person doesn't put ANY money down on the table.

Logan, UT

Nevada= 82% federally owned. They spend about $8,300 per student.

Alaska= 62% federally owned. They spend about $15,000 per student.

Idaho= 62% federally owned. They spend about $7,000 per student.

Utah= 64% federally owned. We spend about $5,700 per student.

The arguments that Utah can't fund its education system without trying to STEAL land that ALL AMERICANS own, is absurd.

Durham, NC

You know, I think Utah should have more control over land that just isn't doing anything.

But the election year hyperbole being spewed is something else. As if this is the missing link to funding schools. How can anyone not want more money for schools - right?

And then to make claims like in Texas the oil companies are unrestrained by the federal government because they can drill on private land. What a load of mis-information that is. The same rules and regulations that prevent drilling on federal land still exist on private land. If anyone believes Lee's version of the truth, there is some great slightly wet land in Florida that is available at a really good price for you.

Salt Lake City, UT

"Democratic legislators opposed the legislation"

Take a look again.
There were democrat representatives who voted for the bill.

Abe Sarvis
Cedar City, UT

May I suggest the legislators who voted for it - and the governor who signed the bill - put up the money to defend this bill in court? If they win, they can have a 50% profit on what they put in. If they lose, then Utah taxpayers aren't on the hook.

C'mon, boys - put your money where your mouths are. And stop putting MY money where your mouths are.

durwood kirby
South Jordan, UT

I trust the fed's management much more than the Utah Legislature. By far.

Diligent Dave
Logan, UT

The Western US states are virtual colonies of the Federal government, though they allow us congressmen and senators. Congressman Hansen some years back proposed that 1% or 2% of other US states be taken by the Federal government to make his point. All of them found the proposal absurd.

Now, what is absurd, is where the Federal Government owns 2/3 of the land in this state. And for Nevada, 82$! Both are asenine!

Park City, Ut

Federal Government: Dear State of Utah uber right-wing Republican Lawmakers - LOL! Might we remind you that WE purchased what is now known as the "State of Utah" from the Government of Mexico in 1896. We were gracious enough to let you have the land you now control, but that's not good enough for you? Perhaps if you would picked up a history book or do a little research on the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, you might know how your "State" really came to be what it is today. We fought a little war you might remember, called the Mexican-American War. Oh and thanks for sending those troops down to San Diego, they were a big help! Listen, when you can prove to us that you can be good stewards of the land you hold now, maybe we'll think about relinquishing a couple hundred acres back to you. Oh and by the way, allow ranchers to over-graze, or allowing your rich oil buddies to drill and mine Willey Nilley all over the place is not what we consider "good stewards of the land" just so you know. Anyway best of luck!

Salt Lake City, UT

In the Utah Enabling Act, the Federal Government promised in that agreement to sell the 2/3 of Utah, and not to keep it. They officially violated that agreement with FLIPMA in 1976, leaving Utah and not the Federal Government, jurisdiction and the owner of 2/3 of the land.

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. Clearly the 2/3 of the land in Utah "claimed" by the Federal Government does not fit within this constitutional power

Temecula, CA

Utah_1 has it right. The rest of you need to take a constitutional law class. The federal government is specifically disallowed from owning land outside of Washington, D.C. except for defense purposes. Teddy Roosevelt was the first president to ignore this clause when he created national parks. The American people are so ill-educated about the Constitution that we are probably doomed to repeat the mistakes our founding fathers sought to protect us from. Shame on us.

Cedar City, UT

Gosh, Utah, if you want more spending per pupil, get a state lottery already. Many other states have them, and many of those other states are doing much better than Utah in a lot of ways. A lottery isn't going to turn Utah into Sodom and Gomorrah, contrary to what many of our state leaders might have you think. What do I care, I'm moving out of Utah soon, to the real world, then I won't have to bother with ridiculous stories like this! I might even buy a lottery ticket now and then :)

A voice of Reason
Salt Lake City, UT


Sadly, as much as I agree with you- I somehow doubt we'll see a good end to this issue. The Fed typically does things their way or gets it their way in the end and courts seem to uphold actual law, even the actual constitution. We tend to put things in the constitution that aren't there and take things out when it's convenient for us.

The Rock
Federal Way, WA

"Democratic legislators opposed the legislation, calling it unconstitutional and a waste of time and money. "

This is probably true with our court system; however, a court challenge would not be without merit. Article 1 section 8 paragraph 17 of the US Constitution sets forth the terms under which the Federal Government can own land in a state. The land must be for specific purposes and it must be approved by the state legislature.

The Utah state legislature probably never approved the Feds owning the land in question and they certainly are not using for one of the allowed purposes.

The courts will through this challenge out only because they believe in a "living constitution". The written constitution would make victory certain.

Temecula, CA

Prodicus, you're wrong. HB 148 is designed to restore states' rights. Please read the Constitution.
DeltFoxtrot, Federal does NOT trump state except in clearly defined situations. Please read the Constitution.
VegasBart, the governor is absolutely entitled to try to correct this problem.
Stowaway, it's the principle of the thing.
Isrred, it's not about education--it's about righting a very old wrong.
UtahBlueDevil, you might want to check your facts again.
Abe Sarvis, this is an appropriate use of state money, and a great investment in your future.
Durwood Kirby, you are the person who scares me the most. Please read the Constitution. And don't vote in November unless you understand it. Thanks.
ParkCityAggie, please read the Constitution.

Taylorsville, UT

Absurd hypocrisy is all this is about. I think this state and its legislators are all suffering from dementia, Alzheimer, and Parkinson disease for how irrational and brain dead they are.

Public lands of the BLM do not belong to any single state and I am glad they are federally owned and controlled. Why Utah is wasting time and money to posture this demand further adds to this states nationally recognized selfish and immoral standards.

Or does Utah hope to use this demand so they can declare themselves and independent and sovereign nation?

Will his doctor please give this governor and the Republicans in the legislature a dose of Riddlen to calm them down and make them more submissive to reason and common sense? Since all these Representative got out of school and off their Riddlen medication they have lost their minds.

Don't know what public lands have to do with per child spending in school but if you want to quote it properly the range of spending is from a few hundred dollars(rural schools) to $30,000+ dollars per student in the SLC school district. That $5700 is so phony its pathetic to even mention it.

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