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Old 03-24-2012, 03:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Utah Governor Signing Bill Taking Federal Lands

Declaration of Independence?

Wayne


By JOSH LOFTIN Associated Press
SALT LAKE CITY March 23, 2012 (AP)
Gov. Gary Herbert plans to sign a bill Friday that demands the federal government relinquish control of public lands in Utah by 2014, setting the table for a potential legal battle over millions of acres in the state.

House Bill 148, which easily passed the Legislature, is saddled with a warning from legislative attorneys that there is a high probability it will be found unconstitutional. But Republican lawmakers and Herbert are optimistic about their chances in court, especially if they can persuade other western states to pass similar legislation.

Ideally, state and federal officials should work together to improve access and increase development opportunities on public lands, especially for energy projects, Herbert said last month. Alternatively, the state's congressional delegation would be able to work through Congress to give the state more control.

If those approaches fail, Herbert said a lawsuit to answer the constitutional question needs to remain an option.

"Sometimes there are differences we can't resolve," Herbert said.

So far, only Arizona has joined the fight, with legislation that has passed the state Senate. State Sen. Al Melvin, R-Tucson, who sponsored the measure, said it's designed to put the federal government on notice.

Melvin said federal regulations are killing industries like mining and timber, and the state could collect more money in property taxes if some of that land is sold.


Opponents, including Utah Democrats and the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, said the bill is not only unconstitutional but bad public policy. If implemented, they said, it could eliminate important protections from development and vehicle use for wildlife refuges, forests and other sensitive areas.

Legal experts have also said the state has no standing, noting that Utah, Arizona and other states passed similar legislation during the so-called Sagebrush Rebellion in the 1970s and 1980s.

At the core of the issue in all of the states is limited access to federal land, which hurts energy development, recreation and grazing. There are approximately 28 million acres of federal land in Utah, accounting for about 50 percent of the state. State lawmakers claim the federal lands cost the state millions of dollars every year, although no comprehensive studies have quantified those losses.

The Utah bill exempts national parks, military installations, Native American reservations and congressionally approved wilderness areas and monuments. It primarily focuses on lands controlled by the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management.

Most notably, the state would lay claim to the 1.9-million-acre Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah, which President Bill Clinton designated in 1996. Since that declaration, state officials and residents of the rural area, which is dominated by red rock landscapes, have waged an endless battle with federal authorities over land use.

"The current situation is not what was intended to become of the West, yet greedy Washington bureaucrats have decided that hoarding land in the federal estate is more important than education," said U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah. "Like most Utahans, I disagree."
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Old 03-24-2012, 04:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I love it even if it doesnít pass muster!

Stirring the pot and throwing down the gauntlet is a step that needed to be done, it is a wakeup call if nothing else!!

Hopefully more States will join the fight!!!
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Old 03-24-2012, 07:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Gee what do you think California will do?
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Old 03-24-2012, 08:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by duneburner View Post
Gee what do you think California will do?
Umm . . . ignore or cast aspersions upon the movement would be my default opinion and response to such a question.
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Old 03-24-2012, 09:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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This will get completely ignored by this state, There is now a law maker
out here who has the balls or backbone to do something like this

It is wishful thinking something like this would happen in CA though,
Travel management including wilderness designations could go
right out the window, that would be something ay?

Wayne
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Old 03-24-2012, 09:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Actually, from what I have found both Utah and my home state of Arizona have a better then average chance of winning this.

Kelo v. City of New London

Kelo v. City of New London, 545 U.S. 469 (2005)[1] was a case decided by the Supreme Court of the United States involving the use of eminent domain to transfer land from one private owner to another to further economic development. The case arose from the condemnation by New London, Connecticut, of privately owned real property so that it could be used as part of a comprehensive redevelopment plan which promised 3,169 new jobs and $1.2 million a year in tax revenues. The Court held in a 5–4 decision that the general benefits a community enjoyed from economic growth qualified such redevelopment plans as a permissible "public use" under the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment.

The case was appealed from a decision by the Supreme Court of Connecticut in favor of the City of New London. The state supreme court held that the use of eminent domain for economic development did not violate the public use clauses of the state and federal constitutions. The court held that if an economic project creates new jobs, increases tax and other city revenues, and revitalizes a depressed urban area (even if not blighted), then the project qualifies as a public use.

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Old 03-25-2012, 02:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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This is pissing in the wind, but I like the panache and style with which its being done. There's no way the federales will let it stand, but I like what it STANDS FOR, nonetheless.

MM, I hope they find a better argumenet than Kelo vs. New London -- eminent domain is an edgy strategy that could backfire and open the door for even MORE land-grabs.

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Old 03-25-2012, 02:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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randii,

They do have a better strategy, I am just not at liberty to speak about it.
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Old 03-25-2012, 03:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
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It's more like pissing up a rope and sucking on the wet end IMHO!

I like the challenge to the Fed, the more States the merrier, if it is bears no fruit it will stir the pot.

Speaking of fruit, it is a given that CA will have nothing to do with such a movement being more concerned with bowel related movements instead, likely due being the land of too many fruits and nuts!!!

The “eminent domain” thing can play out in many ways, most of which are and continue to be a derogatory to private land ownership and holdings IMHO, regardless of whether it may benefit this specific issue.

Could be DOA or open a door to States Rights depending upon backing, other factors and ultimately . . . a Supreme Court decision, if it ever managed to get that far.

JMHO!!!

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