Stuart Johnson, Deseret News
A new poll commissioned by Republican environmentalists shows 63 percent of Utahns believe the Legislature\'s lawsuit demanding the federal government turn over control of 30 million acres of public lands to the state of Utah is not worth the estimated $3 million price tag for the suit.

In the Transfer of Public Lands Act, Utah is missing a vital point: Land within its borders belongs to Utah, not to the federal government.

An honest reading of the U.S. Constitution shows the federal government can only control two types of lands: Washington and military sites "purchased" from the states. Court rulings based upon the Property Clause utilize the words, "Territory or other Property belonging to the United States" which actually refer to U.S. land before that land became a state.

14 comments on this story

Think of it. It does not make sense for any of the 13 original states to have portions of their state be under federal control. States gave land to the federal government, not the other way around. But, don't expect the federal government to give up lands it has controlled for decades, especially when the Department of Interior is controlled by liberals, because their basic philosophy is for more and more centralized control. Look at all of the regulations and spending since 2006, especially in the Obama Administration.

Don Olson