Utah lawmakers continue push for ownership as public lands war gains traction

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  • Bill Vernal, UT
    Sept. 21, 2012 5:41 p.m.

    "Congress has tied the hands of Federal land managers" If that is so why has the BLM given the green light on another 1300 new gas wells in Uintah County? Why do we have now over 10,000 producing wells in Utah, a new high? Why the mad growth and bad air in the basin? Is that hamstringing the oil and gas industry?

  • JoCo Ute Grants Pass, OR
    Sept. 20, 2012 7:29 p.m.

    RE: Ute alum. Just read all the posts between mine and yours. That should help.

  • Bebyebe UUU, UT
    Sept. 20, 2012 5:51 p.m.

    It's not Utah's land. You don't own everything inside the state border

    Utah's state government would sell it off the same day they took over. Do not trust them!

  • ute alumni Tengoku, UT
    Sept. 20, 2012 3:53 p.m.

    what you can't grasp is that utah should be controlled by utah not chicago, dc, ny or oregon. very few states are owned and controlled to the percentage of land that utah and a few other western states are. you might try knowing what you are talking about before condeming utahns.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Sept. 20, 2012 1:29 p.m.

    The public lands belong to the entire US. The poverty created by having 98% of the land in some southern Utah counties owned by an absentee landlord belongs to the people of southern Utah alone.
    The federal government should address that issue then maybe the Western states won't be suing them.

  • Wonder Provo, UT
    Sept. 20, 2012 11:24 a.m.

    When states were granted statehood, they agreed that all federal land within their boundaries would remain federal. In the west, that was a lot of land within each state. Your forefathers in the state thought it was a good deal -- they wanted the benefits of statehood. To now somehow claim that the feds "stole" the land is ridiculous. The state never had the land in the first place.

  • bodgerdlue Kearns, UT
    Sept. 20, 2012 6:59 a.m.

    These lands belong to the federal government. The federal government's right to own and manage these lands is clearly spelled out in the U.S. Constitution which states:

    The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State. (Article 4 Section 3)

    The fact that Utah gave up any claim to federal lands is also spelled out in the Utah State Constitution which states:

    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, and to all lands lying within said limits owned or held by any Indian or Indian tribes, and that until the title thereto shall have been extinguished by the United States, the same shall be and remain subject to the disposition of the United States, and said Indian lands shall remain under the absolute jurisdiction and control of the Congress of the United States. (Article 3 Section 2)

  • JoCo Ute Grants Pass, OR
    Sept. 19, 2012 11:57 p.m.

    Folks, the key word here is Public. That means the land is owned by every citizen of the United States. I realize that very few people in Utah can grasp this concept, but people living in Chicago, Boston, Dallas or Las Vegas all have just as much interest in the management of Public lands in Utah as do the people of Utah. The Federal government owned the land making up the entire state of Utah before Utah was granted statehood. When Utah was granted statehood the leaders of Utah signed an agreement, giving their word to recognize Federal ownership of all Public lands.

    So now Utah wants to sell, privatize or develop my Public land in their state. I say no way. That lands is on loan from my children and my grandchildren and you can't have it.

  • ParkCityAggie Park City, Ut
    Sept. 19, 2012 11:08 p.m.

    Utah's push to "open up" public lands is crony capitalism at it's worst, this an attempted land grab to enrich those who finance and underwrite the campaigns of our state lawmakers so that they can gain unfettered access to public lands for their own economic benefit, all the while we're being sold a bill of goods that this is in the best economic interest of the State when there is absolutely no proof offered to support that fantasy! Also, as I love to point out every year we have this nice little debate, that federal land was NEVER owned by the State, it was actually purchased from Mexico after the signing of the treaty of Hidalgo de guadalupe. In essence, the American people paid for that land! Just because it was allowed to be drawn into Utah's political boundaries doesn't mean it automatically belongs to the State of Utah exclusively. I love the east coast analogies, but we didn't buy that land with exception of the Louisiana purchase! The west was purchased from Mexico using federal funds! How about Utah pay back the US government PLUS interest!

  • Utes Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 19, 2012 9:10 p.m.

    I would support this if I had trust for politicians. If I knew they weren't influenced by lobbyists with deep pockets who don't have the best interests of the public but their own self-interests I might support this.

    Remember in 2008 the Utah Supreme Court ruled unanimously that streams and rivers in Utah are owned by the public and that there is, and always has been a public easement on those rivers. With that, what did our legislature and governor do? Did they act for the best interests of the public? Or were they influenced by real estate and other special interests with deep pockets? The latter. Meaning, the governor signed into law reversing the court ruling and essentially taking away from the public that which the public owns - the easement to rivers and streams. They broke the public trust, which is technically illegal, since these waters are in the public trust and reversed the unanimous ruling.

    This gives me every reason to believe that they will do it again: public forests, rivers, lakes, streams will be sold to private developers and the public will be locked away forever, unless you have big $$ to use it.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 19, 2012 8:51 p.m.

    Thanks goodness for SUWA to fight idiotic legislation like this.

  • A1994 Centerville, UT
    Sept. 19, 2012 8:07 p.m.

    @UTAH Bill

    "It's developers who are behind the push to open up fed lands."

    You don't say! That's the point. To develop the resources. Let's get the shale and make jobs!

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Sept. 19, 2012 6:56 p.m.

    I have no problem with federal parks and other federal lands.

    But what cause or need is there for the federal government to control OVER 70 PERCENT of the lands within utah's border!

    More importantly no land of any state should be taken on the whim and the executive order of a single man, and cetainly not without due process. No president should have that power.

  • UTAH Bill Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 19, 2012 6:34 p.m.

    It's developers who are behind the push to open up fed lands. Look at the movers and shakers in the legislature behind this and look at where their "donations" come from.

  • stuff Provo, UT
    Sept. 19, 2012 5:34 p.m.

    I support acquisition of public lands. The state can cover costs by collecting revenue from the proper use of this land. There is little to no basis for arguments about misuse or mismanagement of the land. Utah has a proven track record for properly managing state lands. We all want a beautiful state. The state has my support in this endeavor.

  • rmk South Jordan, UT
    Sept. 19, 2012 5:08 p.m.

    It is to bad when you have an organization like SUWA with less than 10,000 members pushing a few eastern congressman to lock up and stop access to the public lands in Utah to the point that the state needs to do something like this for the majority of the people to live and make a living.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    Sept. 19, 2012 4:20 p.m.

    ""It has become very clear to us that this is not just a Utah battle," she told members of the Legislature's Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment Interim Committee."

    Then why is Utah the only state foolish enough to keep taking the feds to court? "Costs shouldn't be an issue"? Spoken like someone playing with taxpayers dollars. Don't have any $$$ for education, but we sure do for lawyers & losing causes. Eat that elephant on your own dime!

  • AnH Salt Lake City, Utah
    Sept. 19, 2012 4:20 p.m.

    I don't see Clarke and Ivory as objective thinkers. Ivory is connected to ALEC, which is front group for corporate control. Clarke is doing the bidding of those who would sell off public lands for short term gain. Both causes are good reasons to make sure Romney isn't elected. If Romney is elected, he'll have coattails and the senate will go to the right. If he's defeated, the senate will remain centrist, and while land issues will continue to fall in favor of big energy, the rate of the fall will be lessened. I believe the republican view of land borders on immorality, but that's for another discussion.