PLPCO Releases Report and Study on Transfer of Public Lands

Transfer of Public Lands ReportDecember 1, 2014

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.

Officials say Economic Outlook Good for Public Lands Transfer

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.’ “

Read full story | Salt Lake Tribune

Daggett County Lands Compromise Touted as Model for Nation | Deseret News

By Amy Joi O’Donoghue

October 22, 2014

“A compromise reached on contentious, decades-old land disputes in Daggett County will be incorporated into a lands bill in Congress and could serve as the template for how the rest of the country strikes a balance between conservation and resource development.

During a Wednesday announcement of the deal brokered under the direction of Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, Daggett County Commissioner Jerry Steglich said if groups could reach agreement there, it could happen about anywhere.

The agreement, Steglich said, has Daggett County giving up one-fifth of its land mass — about 100,000 acres for wilderness and conservation designations — with an eye to getting nearly 7,000 acres for resort development he said will help diversify the county’s economic base.”

Read Full Story | Deseret News