Utah showdown with the feds as Dec. 31 deadline approaches for state to reclaim its land

Saturday, December 27, 2014
By Paul Martin

by: Daniel Barker
Saturday, December 27, 2014

An impending showdown between Utah and the federal government may set a precedent affecting future disputes regarding state vs. federal land ownership.

In 2012, Governor Gary Herbert formally challenged the feds over the right to control 31.2 million acres of Utah land when he signed the “Transfer of Public Lands Act.” One of the provisions of the act demands that the federal government turn over the lands by December 31, 2014.

At this point, the feds haven’t responded and it remains unclear exactly what will happen as the deadline approaches. The lands in question account for more than 64 percent of Utah’s total acreage.

Federal government controls over half of western lands

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