Utah Legislature: Trio of bills challenges feds over Utah land

Return To Article

Commenting has temporarily been suspended in preparation for our new website launch, which is planned for the week of August 12th. When the new site goes live, we will also launch our new commenting platform. Thank you for your patience while we make these changes.


  • Patrick Henry
    Feb. 24, 2010 11:25 p.m.

    “It is natural for man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts... For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth, to know the worst, and to provide for it.” (Patrick Henry) We can Shut our eyes against the painful truth that the federal government is spending, or has already spent, our future and that our our children's children and go back to sleep indulging the illusions of hope that all will be well, or we can rise to our pioneer heritage and preserve and invest in a legacy of liberty for our posterity. Of course, American Idol may be easier and more "fun".

  • Flat out crazy
    Feb. 24, 2010 5:34 p.m.

    --"But the rewards of going after that land are in the billions and billions. I am not a gambling man, but if someone were to say I could put a quarter in a machine and had a chance to get a billion dollars, I would put that quarter in."

    If only it was going to cost a quarter!

    Interesting how these "fiscally conservative" legislators are so against federal government spending yet so willing to gamble state government money at a time of deep economic instability!

  • BAD IDEAS - WASTE OF TIME & MONE
    Feb. 24, 2010 3:49 p.m.

    The ideas presented certainly don't represent the way I think!

    Maybe instead of paying $3million for lawyers. they would take it for noting just because they believe in the cause and ability to win. There are some that advertise on TV that if they don't win the case you don't owe them anything (of course there is a certain common sense screening before they will accept that deal.)

    Our legislature is just succeeding in making more enemies. I was in Phoenix yesterday and 2 people knowing i was from Utah asked "What kind of 'nuts' do you have in your legislature?"

    I think there are better ways to spend our time, let alone our money on things that are not likely to be successful.

    NOW AN HONEST QUESTION - Are there any of you who would personally be willing to put up the bucks to pursue this. If so, please post your correct name and phone number and I will drop it off at the Governor's office.

  • Do Utah voters want to die?
    Feb. 24, 2010 12:44 p.m.


    Bob Kjar | 8:13 a.m. Feb. 24, 2010

    "Cudos to the State of Utah for standing up for its sovereignty. We here in Texas are doing the same thing.

    "We must constantly remind the federal government that we are independent nations joined together by a constitution that they continue to violate."

    Utah was not a nation before it became a state and therefore can't claim nationhood like Delaware, and other states who ratified the U.S. Constitution as independent states after their revolt against the British Republic.

    It was the territory and property of the U.S. If Utah wants to argue that it wants to go back to before it became a territory of the United States we can give it back to Mexico or if they don't want that we can let them go back to being a territory but either way the United States and every other state does not have to allow Utah to think that it can steal their lands and if Utah tries it then every other state has the right to use force to invade Utah and take back what is rightefully theirs. Do you want that Utah?

  • Gouging the Taxpayers
    Feb. 24, 2010 11:17 a.m.

    These bills are tantamount to sweeping up millions of dollars of taxpayers' money into a big pile, dousing it with gasoline and tossing in a match. If these clowns want to launch an expensive and fruitless legal challenge or a political movement, fine, but let them do it with their own money.

    We elected these guys to govern, not to put on a right-wing dog-and-pony show at our expense. Whatever happens to fiscal responsibility??

  • Making a Point
    Feb. 24, 2010 11:01 a.m.

    Why is it that the legislation never considered this during the 8 years a Republican was in office? Doing this now when we clearly cant afford too is only to make a point to our Democrat President! Sore Loosers!!!!!!

  • RED
    Feb. 24, 2010 10:09 a.m.

    Is Lee going to represent the state; if so does he get paid; win or loose?

  • Voice of reason
    Feb. 24, 2010 10:06 a.m.

    Utah's legislature seems to forget that even if it could give itself the power to condemn federal land (highly unlikely, even according to the legislature's own attorneys), both the Utah and United States Constitutions require that just compensation be paid when a condemning authority takes property under eminent domain. The same legislature that claims that the land is worth billions (for natural resource development potential) seem to ignore the fact that it would have to pay fair market value to the federal government to condemn that "priceless" land. From what source? Why, us taxpayers, of course, the same people the legislature promises to protect from tax increases. Go figure. At least it would help reduce the federal deficit.

  • @Bob Kjar
    Feb. 24, 2010 9:59 a.m.

    Hey, Bob, thanks for showing us that Utah isn't the only state with right-wing wackos. So you think the states are "independent nations"? Where does that come from? Maybe that's how Texas views itself, but sad to say, the states are not independent nations in any sense. Read the Constitution.

  • Russ
    Feb. 24, 2010 9:56 a.m.

    So, basically we're funding Mike Lee's Senate campaign with funds meant for school children. That's all these message bills are, red meat campaign fodder

  • Cats
    Feb. 24, 2010 8:48 a.m.

    Virtue is on their side, but I'll be surprised if they can prevail in court.

    However, it's great to see our state standing up to the federal government. It's the Sagebrush Rebellion all over again and is very much in keeping with the reawakening in our country to fight for our constitution, our sovereignty and our rights. I wish them well...THEY'VE GOT A LOT OF GUTS.

  • Anonymous
    Feb. 24, 2010 8:37 a.m.

    Mathis: "It is time we put our money where our mouth is and do it."

    But it's not your money, is it?

  • @Dave
    Feb. 24, 2010 8:36 a.m.

    Even Mike Lee admits the lawsuit is a long shot. I'm for more money for education; I'm against paying $3 million to lawyers for a case they are very likely to lose. This seems like playground antics: "we're going to show you how tough we are, federal government."

  • Ridiculous
    Feb. 24, 2010 8:33 a.m.

    So, our schools are suffering and you want to take money that has been set aside for them and spend it on this ridiculous fight? Here is something to consider. When the federal government sets aside land for a park, it means it will attract tourists which, if I'm not mistaken, boosts the state's tourist economy. The rural areas close to our national parks and monuments (like the area I'm from) really benefit from the tourism. Why don't our politicians just suggest that we cede from the union now. I'm personally shocked that Buttars hasn't suggested it yet.

  • Bob Kjar
    Feb. 24, 2010 8:13 a.m.

    Cudos to the State of Utah for standing up for its sovereignty. We here in Texas are doing the same thing. We must constantly remind the federal government that we are independent nations joined together by a constitution that they continue to violate.

  • Dave
    Feb. 24, 2010 7:41 a.m.

    This land access issue is the main reason that Utah is at the bottem in school funding. Why are all you dems against money for educating our children? Or are you all just ignorant to how the world works?

  • Steve
    Feb. 24, 2010 7:38 a.m.

    Finally someone is standing up and not letting the Federal Government keep taking from Utah. We should be able to do what we want with OUR land. I'm a HUGE fan of getting use and tax dollars from what is rightly ours. Let what we have in the state start benefitting the state.

  • david jay
    Feb. 24, 2010 7:30 a.m.

    I only have one question. What will the state use for funding to replace the PILT money. The federal government pays a Payment In Lieu of Taxes for every acre of this land. That money goes to the counties. Will the state make up for that lost revenue? Or is this another example of legislative hot air?

  • Anonymous
    Feb. 24, 2010 7:26 a.m.

    So will you reject all federal MONEY as well? Be honest and consistent. These people sicken me. You want more and more money, then bite the hand that feeds you. Utah has its hands out and wants more and more. Such hypocrisy.

  • California Andy
    Feb. 24, 2010 6:42 a.m.

    I wish Utah well in this endeavor. I am tired of seeing every U. S. President "setting aside" tens of thousands of acres for a "Federal Park". Utah has been the recipient of such lunacy under the buffoon Clinton administrtation. What is really needed is a constitutional amendment that limits all governments to say, ten percent of the U. S. landmass. The rest would be available to the citizenry to use for whatever purpose would add to the U. S. economy. Land in government hands is essentially useless unless one likes to look at it. However, as it now appears, all land masses will be under the ownership of the U. S. and other state and local governments by the end of this century. I believe it is called communism.

  • steve
    Feb. 24, 2010 6:41 a.m.

    Send the legal bill to the repubicans, they want to pay for it.

  • waste
    Feb. 24, 2010 6:07 a.m.

    what a waste of time and money. Any leg. who spends any time on this should be thrown out of office.

    We are a federal system, not a state system. But it plays well to the dumb choir, huh.

  • Wow
    Feb. 24, 2010 5:53 a.m.

    Complete lunacy!

  • tumbleweed
    Feb. 24, 2010 4:17 a.m.

    Another political manuever from Conservatives to waste tax payers dollars to fund their time in office with little value for the common man and common needs.Show somwe inititive and look what your wahts really needed...jobs,mortgage assistance, health care..for a start...fighting over who owns what is just fanciful time wasting.