WHAT’S UP WITH UTAH?
Politicians keep trying to dissolve federal lands
Utah has awesome public hunting, but it’s also spawned some of the worst public-land policy legislation to hit D.C. For decades, Utah lawmakers have tried to wrestle public lands away from the federal government. Here’s a brief look at that long history. During the 1970s Sagebrush Rebellion, Sen. Orrin Hatch introduced a federal transfer bill. In 2012, the state passed a bill requiring Congress to turn over federal lands to Utah. In 2017, Rep. Rob Bishop revised budget rules, making it easier for the federal government to dispose of National Forest, BLM, and wildlife refuge ground. Rep. Jason Chaffetz introduced a 2017 bill that would have disposed of 3.3 million acres of national land but withdrew it after a firestorm of criticism. This past summer, Rep. Mike Lee proposed bills that would transfer federal lands to states, make it more difficult for a president to designate national monuments, and reenact the Homestead Act.