Utah Unveils Plan to Conserve 90 Percent of Greater Sage Grouse Population

By Amy Joi O’Donoghue

April 25, 2013

SALT LAKE CITY — Gov. Gary Herbert’s office rolled out its conservation plan for the imperiled greater sage grouse, setting up 13 distinct management areas it hopes will prevent the animal from being named to the Endangered Species List.

Read full story | Deseret News

Bishop Seeks Grand Bargain on Public Lands | The Salt Lake Tribune

By Thomas Burr | The Salt Lake Tribune

April 15, 2013

Tired of the gridlock over how to manage federal lands, Rep. Rob Bishop is attempting to bring together all sides of the issue to find common ground to either preserve or drill.

The Utah Republican is one of Congress’ top cheerleaders for oil and gas development and a dogged critic of environmentalists — but he says it’s time to tone down the rhetoric and seize on a change at the Interior Department to get beyond the bitter feud in the public-lands debate.

Bishop has invited energy companies, green groups, local officials and other interested parties to submit their plans for what they want to get done and hopes to craft legislation to bring up later this year.

Read full story | The Salt Lake Tribune

Kane County Wins Legal Fight Over Civil War-Era Roads | KSL.com

By Amy Joi O’Donoghue

March 21, 2013

“Kane County officials and the Utah Attorney General’s Office are celebrating what they say is a major win in the longstanding legal fight to win title from the federal government to multiple rights-of-way on Civil War-era roads.

“It marks a great victory for Kane County in our road battle we have been working on for a decade,” said Kane County Commissioner Dirk Clayson.

The Wednesday ruling by U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups granted the county and the state title to 12 of 15 roads that had been in dispute with the U.S. Department of Interior — access Clayton said is important to preserve for motor vehicle use.

“There is this perception here that we are making new roads, but we are not,” he said. “We are trying to preserve what already exists.”

The case — and 22 other lawsuits filed by the state and counties last year — revolve around what’s called RS2477 roads, part of a transportation network established through an 1866 law to foster movement in the West.”

Read full story | KSL.com

Press Release – Alaska Asserts Ownership of Multiple R.S. 2477 Rights-of-Way in the Chicken Area

Press Release

March 20, 2013

Juneau, Alaska – Today, the State of Alaska filed suit against the United States and others, asserting ownership of multiple R.S. 2477 rights-of-way in the Chicken, Alaska area. This case seeks to address important issues of federal overreach and protection of State sovereignty concerning management and control of important State property interests.

“Litigation is always a last resort, but we will not stand by while the federal government restricts public access to State-owned rights-of-way,” Attorney General Michael C. Geraghty said. “In our large State with limited connectivity between communities and resources, these rights-of-way are of vital importance.”

Read full Press Release | State of Alaska Department of Law