Comments about ‘Letter: Utah's birthright’

Return to article »

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 19 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Most recommended
Brigham City, UT

Re: "These lands are Utah's birthright."

The sad thing is that many Utahns would be willing to sell their birthright for a mess of pottage.

embarrassed Utahn!
Salt Lake City, UT

So what do you want do with it; that precious land??? Drilling for oil, and mining coal and leaving it looking like moonscape for future generations should not be an option. Neither should you have free-reign to ride your noisy, polluting machine wherever you want.

I for one appreciate what Mr. Salazar represents for the future of our Nation. I hope Utah's "leadership" continues to show America how much Utah needs protecting...from Utah's leadership and greed-driven, self-interested Utahns.

Here, UT

Well, Bill, it would seem to me that Utah's lands are the "birthright" of the Natives, and we white people certainly aren't the natives.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

Every Indigenous Native American in Utah must be laughing out loud right now...

Salt Lake, UT

LDS Liberal, I don't think even the natives are even native to this continent if you go far enough back in history. They just came a lot earlier than European settlers.

Centerville, UT

The Navajo people did not arrive in Utah until about 1700 ad. All the tribes came from other areas. In the mid-18th century, other Uto-Aztecan tribes, including the Goshute, the Paiute, the Shoshone, and the Ute people, also settled in the region. The southern Utah region was explored by the Spanish in 1540, led by Francisco Vásquez de Coronado. And the Utah pioneers arrived in the mid-19th century, only about a hundred years later.

liberal larry
salt lake City, utah

According to Dictionary.com birthright means:

"any right or privilege to which a person is entitled by birth"

So if present day Utahans are selling our land to the petroleum company Royal Dutch Shell, or oil shale developer Enefit (Estonia) aren't we giving up future generation's "birthright" to the land?

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

#1. Utah should have the same rights as States back East. The STATE should control the land in our State (not Federal bureaucrats in the Capitol, treating us like a "District" in the Hunger Games).

#2. Other States control their land, and they haven't become moonscapes... why would Utah become a moonscape? People in Utah are just like the people in every other State!

Parts of Utah are already NATURAL moonscapes (literally been used by NASA for moon mission training, and by Hollywood when filming scenes they want to look like they are on another planet.


Why is Utah treated differently???

Is it still the Mormon thing? Because Utah is not predominately Mormon anymore. So I hope folks back East can get over that one.

Is it because we use the land for agriculture (Agriculture is still the #1 industry in Utah)?

Is it because we mine some of the land? we mine essential elements that make modern living possible. From medicine, food and shampoo, to cell phones, computers, CAT scans and hybrid electric cars, nearly everything you use today relies on materials that we produce.

Google "States Rights", "Constitution", "10th Amendment"...

Poplar Grove, UT

I always wonder if guys like Bill, from Hurricane, thinks these things through all the way. Even if the state of Utah got control of these lands, is he delusioned enough to think that the population centers of Utah(aka, not Hurricane) will still control these lands. Trust me, the legislator and governor wouldn't just be handing these lands to the Washington County commissioner. Would you like there choices any better than the Feds?

Centerville, UT

Indigenous Native Americans in Utah were long gone by the time of the pioneers.
They consisted of the Clovis era, who it is believed migrated from the Asian continent. Subsequent groups, the Anasazi which occupied southern Utah and the Fremont group that covered a larger area. Of course the Fremont is a reference to a cultural grouping of similar life styles and does not actually refer to a tribe or race.

one old man
Ogden, UT

Lightbearer stated it perfectly.

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

By this reasoning, all the privately owned land within the borders of Utah reverted to state ownership on Jan. 4, 1896.
IOW, the reasoning is flawed. Being part of a political entity does not mean all the property within that sovereignty belongs to the entity. That would be, uh, communism...

Springville, UT

@ jsf, are you kidding me? Where did you learn history. In every case where someone above is arguing that Native Americans have no prior rights to those of white settlers, your rationalizations fail to support your position! White settlers just took the land away for their own use. In any case, Utah is a state, granted statehood by the federal government, and is subordinate to that federal government. To use the argument of the writer of the letter, there would be no right to ownership of any land in Utah by anyone other than the State of Utah because the land is located within the borders established by the federal government. It is illogical, nonsensical, and a mistaken twisting of the English language to reach a predetermined conclusion. Utah is free to manage its state lands as it deems appropriate, and the federal government may do the same with the lands it owns. It's not that hard of a concept.

Salt Lake City, UT

"Territory" and "state" are referring to political designations. Utah was a "territory" from 1850 to 1896. As a territory it was controlled by the US Congress. At that time, similar to today, most of the land was federally owned. All of the "Utah Territory" was then changed into the all of the "state" of Utah. You are completely misinterpreting the meaning of the clause.

Durham, NC

"why would Utah become a moonscape? People in Utah are just like the people in every other State!"

Ummm, because it was a moonscape before the federal government bought it, and allowed Utah petition to become a state, and that at that time the terms and conditions were well known to all that signed that agreement to gain statehood.

Utah is a moonscape because it has little to no water. The state out west are largely in private hands because they were in private hands before there was a United States of America. My in laws have raided in North Carolina for over 100 years before there was a United States.

Utah was not a sovereign land. It never, ever, was. The settles who moved there had no "birth right" to that land. They did have a birth right to become citizens of the United States, and the State of Utah, once there was a State of Utah. But Utah was never their land of inheritance.


The language of the Enabling Act is very clear. All the lands that made up the territory of Utah now make up the State of Utah (you will notice that there are no lands in Utah that are part of Arizona or Alaska or some as yet unnamed state).

While Bill is focusing on the word "all," he is missing the phrase "as hereinafter provided." One of the provisions, "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;..."

"All" of the land makes up the State of Utah, but some of it belongs to the Federal Government. The Utah Constitution backs this up, "The people inhabiting this State do affirm and declare that they forever disclaim all right and title to the unappropriated public lands lying within the boundaries hereof,..."

Please note the word "forever" contained in both places. There is no indication in any document from Utah Statehood that "forever" means anything other than "forever."


@ 2 bits: You wonder why Utah is treated differently than Eastern States. There is a very simple explanation for that. Eastern States were independent states in full control of their land at the time they joined the United States. Western States were formed in/from land owned by the United States government at the time they became states - land acquired by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hildago, in the case of Utah. Since the land already belonged to the US Government, it is not odd that they choose to keep some of it.

salt lake city, UT

Do you think the native Americans told us to "keep our mitts off their land"? Let's be honest a person's birthright comes from the barrel of a gun or a deep, oily checkbook.

Centerville, UT

you need to get away from the pc history Esquire. The historical facts are what they are. Which statement have I made that is incorrect. When the Mormons arrived in the salt lake valley, they occupied a buffer zone between the Shoshone and Ute tribes. Difficulties did not start until they moved south into the Ute areas. Failing to recognize the encroachment by the tribes that were here when Mormons arrived is a failure to understand the migrations of peoples in the Americas. So show me where I am wrong. Show the readers these tribes existed in Utah prior to the eighteenth century. If you can't please let readers know you couldn't.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

Besides --
Utah was MEXICO before it was even a territory.

What is it with some Neo-Con and their disdain for Hispanics and Native Americans?

to comment

DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.
About comments