WHAT’S UP WITH UTAH?

Politi­cians keep try­ing to dis­solve fed­eral lands

Outdoor Life - - WILD AMERICA -

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.

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