Study underway about transfer of federal lands to Utah

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  • barrashee las vegas, NV
    May 23, 2014 4:38 a.m.

    state constitutions have much in common with each other. A line fro Nevada's reads that something like "all public lands are under the jurisdiction of the US federal government UNTIL they are disposed of to the state", meaning the individual states are to take over control of all public lands. The federal govt simply hasn't been quick about this. The same problem faced former frontier states like Illinois and Arkansas, which eventually had to sue to get the Feds to relinquish control. Government is about control, and power is not given away easily. The Feds had jurisdiction while the territories were NOT YET states. Once they became states, it is important for them to take control, for several reasons. One reason is that all states are equal, yet we have this very unequal system of the Feds running most of the western states while almost absent from the eastern states.

  • RFLASH Salt Lake City, UT
    May 22, 2014 9:02 a.m.

    These lands belong to all Americans, not just to the people of Utah! Why would the federal government transfer these lands over to the state? They have an obligation to all Americans, who have been paying for the maintenance of these lands. Why would they give up the natural resources to the state when they can profit from it themselves? What a waste of time and money!

    May 22, 2014 1:18 a.m.

    Well said "Happy Valley Heretic". I don't know why the governor and legislature insist on wasting taxpayers' money on this silly issue. These lands were part of an agreement the State of Utah made in order to secure statehood. Part of the agreement was to not to try to take control of these lands. Like "Instereo" said, the federal government maintains these lands with tax money collected from the rest of the country. Because Utah has so much federal land we get way more value for our tax dollars. The Feds maintain the land and Utah gets the huge windfall from the tourism dollars these lands bring in. Utah could never afford to maintain these lands and would have to sell a lot of it off to private interest and that would not be good. Again, please quit wasting out tax dollars on this. Former Senator Bob Bennett wrote a good informative article in the Deseret News on this. Do a search for "Bob Bennett" on Scroll down the columns to "Bob Bennett: Utah unlikely to 'take back' federal lands" I would include the link but they don't allow it on this post.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    May 21, 2014 9:56 p.m.

    John Locke said: "We need to look at this from a "win-win" point of view"
    "without stealing them from the states."

    A quick check of history will show how the "state" would handle or hand off the clean-up (Still cleaning up uranium ore piled up next to the Colorado River) and hand off land to their developer buddies or just enrich themselves, they don't even try and hide it, well (Swallow). No I don't think it's worth taking the chance because once it's gone...they aren't making any more, like the water access they gave away a few years ago.

    Stealing is what would happen if the state got their hands on it, The feds actually protect these lands for all Americans to whom they belong, proximity is not possession.

    Recently the "locals" have been showing what would happen if, local interests took over. They acted like "Rebels without a clue" defending a thief with entitlement envy, con them into defending his bad behavior. Then went for yet another "protest ride" by riding their toys over ancient sites or in delicate eco systems, like real men do.

  • John Locke Ivins, , UT
    May 21, 2014 9:15 p.m.

    We need to look at this from a "win-win" point of view...I believe that you can maintain the beauty and status and access to the public of the "federal lands," without stealing them from the states. The states make recommendations on use and plans to maintain the status quo or cleanup and safety requirements, where necessary, and the environmentalists have input on these issues to develop regulations, with a firm date for delays. A combined federal and state commission in each state holds hearings and the states and private industry bear the costs of plan implementation, and you move forward.

    The federal government makes no money off the results, except under applicable tax laws, which are the same for all states. Grazing fees and the like go to the individual states. All monies derived that come to the federal government from taxes, go into a real trust fund for maintaining the environment and policing of the lands (public permits, fees, etc.) in the interest of the general public. Everyone wins.

  • EJM Herriman, UT
    May 21, 2014 9:07 p.m.

    They can study all they want but this will never happen. For the life of me I can't understand why they do this time and time again. They are the first ones to complain about the overreaching federal government and they're also the first ones to have their hand stuck out asking for money for roads. And the feds laugh all the way to the bank.

  • Instereo Eureka, UT
    May 21, 2014 6:43 p.m.

    So what if they find that it is actually more expensive for Utah to manage the lands then what Utah can afford. The Federal government gets money from the entire country to manage lands so it would seem that they would spend more money in Utah because we have more Federal Land that most other states. If Utah had to make up the difference, would the legislature be willing to increase taxes to pay for it or would they increase fees for all those out of state visitors who then may decide it's not worth it because of the cost to come to Utah. Just some hypothetical questions about the costs of Federalism.

  • Kings Court Alpine, UT
    May 21, 2014 6:37 p.m.

    This is a another waste of time and taxpayer dollars. Why? Because it is initiated by our state legislature.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    May 21, 2014 5:55 p.m.

    It will be interesting to see if those who refuse to recognize the authority of the federal government over these lands likes it anymore when Utah takes over.

  • stevo123 slc, ut
    May 21, 2014 4:33 p.m.

    They have spent more than half a million dollars in this fitful dream. I would like to see a complete audit of where this money was spent. Mr Dougal, Can we follow the money?

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    May 21, 2014 4:14 p.m.

    The Feds should hand Utah the bill they paid to fight forest fires in Utah for the last five years. Once the State reimburses that cost the two sides can discuss the purchase of federals lands, based on the value. It would be in the billions I would suppose.

  • BJ61 South Jordan, UT
    May 21, 2014 3:12 p.m.

    Becky Lockhart, Ken Ivory, Mike Noel, Rob Bishop, and the Utah GOP have shown that they cannot be trusted to manage some of the most scenic treasures on the planet. Property rights are such a key issue for the Utah GOP, yet its most "conservative" voices are unwilling to recognize federal property rights. Tea partiers needs to join the 21st century and acknowledge that management of federal lands should comply with the environmental policy that has been acted by Congress and signed by a long list of U.S. presidents. The "tyranny" and abuse at the state and local level is far greater than any so-named "overreach" by federal officials who are constitutionally authorized to manage and protect BLM, Forest Service, and National Park lands. Need we look any further than the condition of the state parks and the national parks to determine which are better managed? The state parks are poorly maintained and do little to protect any biodiversity or environmental integrity. Republicans used to stand for something more than "we can do whatever we want" or "we have decided its ours, so we will take it."

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    May 21, 2014 3:05 p.m.

    Oh good!

    Yet another way our brilliant legislature has found to waste taxpayer dollars!

    Why not let Ken Ivory waste his own money to study this issue?