Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Editorial: Lands bill

...Now, Utah lawmakers may be ready to say "enough is enough." The final straw appears to have been an announcement in December by U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar that his agency would review millions of acres of undeveloped land in Utah as possible wilderness areas. Such a designation means no development would be possible. One plan for dealing with the problem comes from Rep. Carl Wimmer, R-Herriman. The controversial lawmaker certainly is hitting a hot button with this piece of legislation, which would void any federal land designation made without the Legislature's approval. In other words, the federal government would make wilderness designation proposals to the Utah Legislature before they could go into effect. Legislative attorneys are reviewing the language in the bill, but even if they deem it to be legal, it's a good bet the federal government won't be willing to comply. Any defiance at the federal level will prompt potentially expensive litigation and, as some critics of the bill fear, possible confrontations between law enforcement officials at various levels of government...more

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