SALT LAKE CITY Dec. 2, 2014 — The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion today in the R.S. 2477 case of Kane County and Utah v. United States. A three judge panel affirmed that the State and county have legal title to six of twelve roads and held that there was no dispute as to title in the remaining six. The opinion again rejected SUWA’s claim that the statute of limitations bars the road claims. The court also determined that the existence of water reserves do not bar road claims.
December 1, 2014
By Amy Joi O’Donoghue
“A study commissioned by the state and performed by economists from a trio of Utah universities says the transfer of federal lands to Utah control could be profitable and revenues would easily cover the costs of managing the lands.
The 784-page report was mandated after the 2012 passage of the Transfer of Public Lands Act and was carried out by the University of Utah’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research, Utah State University and Weber State University.
“It is important to make decisions based upon a thorough review of accurate, relevant information,” said Gov. Gary Herbert, adding that the analysis will provide policymakers with a sound platform to assess both the risks and challenges associated with the move.”
In 2012, Utah Legislature passed the Transfer of Public Lands Act—legislation requiring the federal government to transfer of approximately 31.2 million acres of federally owned and managed public lands to the State of Utah.
This legislation required examination of current federal management of public lands, budgets, and economic impacts from potential transfer. In 2013, legislators tasked PLPCO to direct the study and analysis of economic impacts and consequences of a transfer.
PLPCO put together a team of economists from University of Utah, Utah State University, and Weber State University to conduct the analysis and prepare a study. The study, “An Analysis of a Transfer of Federal Lands to the State of Utah,” examines the economic feasibility of the proposed lands transfer. It is an optimistic, yet cautionary, analysis of the opportunities and challenges involved in a potential public lands transfer.
This type of economic analysis has never before been performed. It is an objective study remarkable for its depth and detailed findings that will be of lasting interest to the western states. PLPCO has prepared a summary of the study, “Pathway to Balanced Public Lands Policy,” highlighting the key findings.
For additional information on the Transfer of Public Lands Act and study click here.
Also see press release on the Governor’s webpage.
November 19, 2014
By Brian Maffly
“The costs of transferring 30 million acres of public lands to Utah pencil out for the state, according to a team of economists.
But state officials are not quite ready to release the 800-page study that backs up those findings.
State lawmakers pushing the idea — and the public — will have to wait a little while longer to see the proof, officials told an interim legislative panel Wednesday.
The Public Lands Policy Coordinating Office intends to complete an “analytical summary” of the long-anticipated report, freshly completed by economists at three Utah universities after more that a year of data gathering and number crunching, office director Kathleen Clarke told lawmakers.
The economists said Utah could manage federal public lands to harvest oil and gas and timber while providing outdoor recreation and preserving ‘unique landscapes and ecosystems.’ “