SALT LAKE CITY — A group of Utah lawmakers is ready to take on the federal government over the transfer of federal lands to the state, citing a promise made 116 years ago when Utah gained statehood.
Lawmakers considered five separate bills dealing with the transfer of land to the state in committee Tuesday. Members of the House Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment Standing Committee approved four of the five and will forward them to the House for consideration.
Those measures include a joint resolution on the federal transfer of public lands to Utah, House Joint Resolution 3, sponsored by Rep. Roger Barrus, R-Centerville, calling for the federal government to turn over federal land to the state by Dec. 31, 2014. Other measures address some of the mechanisms to make that happen, including an act addressing potential litigation of the issue at the federal level.