Thursday, November 15, 2012

Utah: Taking over public lands a tough, complex task

The Utah Legislature’s controversial plan to transfer millions of federal acres of mountains, desert and grasslands to the state will be extremely complicated to implement and could threaten revenue from the federal government now flowing into the state, according to a new study. "A great deal of work needs to be done. This is a complex process. Additional steps are needed to get us to the point where we are fully informed," Tony Rampton, a deputy attorney general assigned to public lands, told legislators Wednesday. Passed last session, HB148 demands title to most federal land within Utah’s borders be transferred to the state. This land covers about 60 percent of Utah and does not include the five national parks and the national monuments — except for Grand Staircase-Escalante — nor areas designated under the National Wilderness Preservation System...more

Public Lands Transfer Study recommendations

Set up a 9-member “interim” panel with representatives from various interests to continue studying the state acquisition of federal land.

Pre-designate protected wilderness or conservation areas.

 Indemnify Utah counties against any loss of revenue.

Review existing state park designations and increase funding to parks and landscape conservation initiatives.

 Direct new revenue to public education or other legislatively designated priorities.

1 comment:

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