Utah to seize own land from government, challenge federal dominance of Western states

Thirty-one percent of our nation’s land is owned by the federal government while 63.9 percent of the land in Utah is owned by the federal government. This prompted Utah to pass in 2012 a bill to attempt to force the federal government to return to the state control of over 20 million of its acres-by December 31, 2014-along with the ability of the state to garner economic activity from the land and the minerals under the land. It is a state vs. federal rights issue with serious implications for the several other western states that find themselves in the same predicament. This situation will not resolve quickly-if at all-but bears watching.

To read the actual bill click on this link.

To read a brief (1 page) informative legal overview of the issue, click on this link.

To read a series of talking points that explains, among other things, why certain states after statehood managed to force the feds to give them ownership of their own land, while others, like Utah, did not, click on this link

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