The House approved a conference report on Thursday detailing the Department of the Interior's spending bill that includes a $140,000 carry-over to allow the Bureau of Land Management to buy sites in Westwater and Desolation canyons for camping and boat launching by river runners.
Rep. Howard Nielson, R-Utah, said he supports the purchases because they can aid tourism in the state.The bill includes $95,000 to purchase 212 acres in Upper and Lower Westwater Canyon on the Colorado near Cisco, Grand County; and $35,000 to buy 153 acres at Rock Creek Ranch on the Green River in Desolation Canyon.
The same report would allow grazers in Capitol Reef National Park to continue to use permits for the life of the current holders and their children. It also provides that 60 percent of permit users will be able to sell the remaining value of their permits back to the Park Service.
The House rejected an attempt by Rep. Bruce Vento, D-Minn., to eliminate the agreement.
"I have real problems when someone from another state attempts to force his will on the people of my state," said Rep. Jim Hansen, R-Utah, who successfully opposed Vento.