Utah bills keep pushing federal land transfer

Posted: Feb 27, 2013

Written by

BRIAN MAFLY, Salt Lake Tribune
Utah

A Senate panel on Monday advanced a joint resolution that presses the Utah governor and congressional delegation "to exert their utmost abilities" to convince the federal government to hand over 30 million acres of public lands to the state.

SJR13 seeks to speed the implementation of last year’s Transfer of Public Lands Act, which envisions the state acquiring most of the federal land within its borders by the end of next year. But even its backers concede this might take a legal battle, but one they say is worth fighting, especially if other Western states join the struggle to "take back" public lands.

The federal act that enabled Utah’s statehood in 1896 "promised" public lands would be disposed of but the feds have reneged on the deal, according to sponsor Sen. Aaron Osmond, R-South Jordan, who addressed the Senate Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment Committee Monday. The panel passed the bill onto the full Senate on a 3-0 vote. -

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