Issues of concern to people who live in the west: property rights, water rights, endangered species, livestock grazing, energy production, wilderness and western agriculture. Plus a few items on western history, western literature and the sport of rodeo... Frank DuBois served as the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003. DuBois is a former legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior, and is the founder of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship.
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Utah Governor Backs Lawsuit Over Federal Land Management
Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert (R) said he supports efforts to mount a legal challenge seeking to allow the state to manage 30 million acres of federal lands within its boundaries.
Herbert told Bloomberg BNA March 10 in an interview the state is considering a lawsuit as part of a three-pronged strategy to resolve Utah's ongoing dispute with the federal government over the administration of Bureau of Land Management and other federal lands within the state.
“Negotiation, litigation, and legislation—we'll use all three,” Herbert said. In his 2016 State of the State address Jan. 27, Herbert said he is an “enthusiastic supporter of the Public Lands Initiative of Congressman Rob Bishop, Congressman Jason Chaffetz and Senator Mike Lee.” The initiative is one of the “critical steps to help resolve this longstanding conflict and improve our self reliance,” he said.
Utah officials have expressed a desire to assert control over public lands—including BLM and other lands currently managed by the federal government—within the state. Part of the conflict over public lands management stems from Utah's displeasure with apparent unilateral decisions by federal government agencies to grant wilderness designation to areas previously under multiple-use designation, resulting in the end of or reduction in industrial, recreational and other uses. “We would need to be very strategic with a lawsuit” attempting to assert state control, Herbert told Bloomberg BNA. “The threat of litigation may be leverage to get a federal bill.”
Herbert said he prefers to see Congress act on the Public Lands Initiative sponsored by members of the state's delegation. “Things need to happen in a certain order,” he said. “There's some potential for a win-win here.”
The resolution passed by the Legislature “strongly encourages” appropriate executive branch agencies to pursue all legislative and legal efforts “to secure the transfer and control of public lands within” the state to Utah's control under the 2012 Utah Transfer of Public Lands Act. Should those efforts fail, the resolution said, the Legislature and the governor should file an original action in the Supreme Court, the jurisdiction for conflicts between a state and the federal government, no later than Dec. 1, 2017...more