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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Every year there are a number of bills that impact us either directly or indirectly as sportsmen. The legislative session begins on January 17th, but there are already some bills that look like they can have an impact. I will use this thread to post links to bills I see that may impact us. I won't profess to follow every piece of legislation, so I may miss some.

The get us started, Title 23 of the Utah Code, also known as the Wildlife Resources Code, will be renumbered. Nothing should change substantively in the renumbering. The legislature has figured out that most of the code is poorly written and inconsistent, and they have been doing this to the criminal code last year and this year as well. The goal is to make statutes consistent across chapters, sections, and subsections. So Utah Code Title 23 is going to get a face lift this year. Things will look a bit different than you are accustomed to if you have read the statutes there.

I would encourage anyone that has an opinion on these matters to not only pizz and moan about it here, but to actually get involved. Write your legislators. Show up to committee hearings. (They are all available virtually now if you don't want to head to SLC.) The legislative process is supposed to be a public process, but that only works if the public cares enough to get involved.

Here is a link to a page you can see every proposed bill in the legislature this year:

And here is a link for you to find your legislators, if you don't already know them:
(If you don't know who they are....SHAME ON YOU!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
HB 55 - This is an update to the online education course for OHV use. Everyone fired up over that issue may want to take a look at this one! (Or just come on here and complain after the fact... 😜)

 

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This one from the Snyder "pile" caught my eye. I know there has been controversy aplenty when SITLA land has been previously disposed.




"requires the director of the School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration to
13 invite input from local legislators before advertising a proposed sale of trust lands;
14 ▸ adds specific requirements regarding the timing of a proposed sale of more than
15 5,000 contiguous acres of trust lands; and
16 ▸ makes technical and conforming changes. "
.

Since SITLA land and trust have State constitutional directives IIRC, I wonder if this law would be struck down by the courts?
 

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This one from the Snyder "pile" caught my eye. I know there has been controversy aplenty when SITLA land has been previously disposed.




"requires the director of the School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration to
13 invite input from local legislators before advertising a proposed sale of trust lands;
14 ▸ adds specific requirements regarding the timing of a proposed sale of more than
15 5,000 contiguous acres of trust lands; and
16 ▸ makes technical and conforming changes. "
.

Since SITLA land and trust have State constitutional directives IIRC, I wonder if this law would be struck down by the courts?
Seems like it just makes it harder to do underhanded deals selling off state land? I don't think that would conflict with the state constitution.
 

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Seems like it just makes it harder to do underhanded deals selling off state land? I don't think that would conflict with the state constitution.
Maybe. Or it could inject the legislatures own (sometimes avaricious) hands on the process and dealmaking for better or worse. Not saying yet if I approve or oppose, only that it is one worth watching.

My understanding was that SITLA was set up in the state constitution as an independent entity, so it may be shielded from legislative interference/oversight. Since I didn't sleep at a Holiday Inn last night, I would defer to the UWN "legal resource team" though if that is not correct.
 

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The language of that one puts it in a grey area from what I can tell. At a minimum it adds a layer of red tape to SITLA. The legislature would have no binding impact on the decision from what I can tell. But an agency suddenly reporting to the legislature creates awkwardness for it's executive team. I have to wonder if it's intentionally designed to foster pressure on them without explicitly giving the legislature any responsibility?
 

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Well- I would hope the SITLA bill passes. I like that it puts in place a way to supervise such important properties. I'd personally like to see the acreage size lowered for supervised sales.
SITLA needs more scrutiny to make certain they are accomplishing the goals of the program. To start, they should suspend most all land sales- as the market is down and they should allow for future administrators to assess the right time to sell property.

I am no legal expert, but I do know SITLA's purpose and authority are granted to it by the Legislature and it stands to reason that the Legislature still has authority over the agency and as such, they can dictate how disposal of SITLA property comes to be.
 

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I still am more than happy to defer to Nilla or Tushy on this stuff, but I'm winding down the work day and had a minute to poke around.

Regarding a few questions, while it is true that SITLA was set up by the legislature as an administrator, there is established a state school fund/Uniform school fund that is constitutionally required.

https://le.utah.gov/xcode/Articlex/Article_X,_Section_5.html

The constitution prescribes how the funds are to be used and administered.


I don't have the legal chops to judge whether Sniders proposal could be viewed as a potential violation of section 7. Maybe/maybe not. 🤷‍♂️
Note that references to the constitution refer to the Utah State constitution, not the Federal constitution.

Well- I would hope the SITLA bill passes. I like that it puts in place a way to supervise such important properties. I'd personally like to see the acreage size lowered for supervised sales.
SITLA needs more scrutiny to make certain they are accomplishing the goals of the program. To start, they should suspend most all land sales- as the market is down and they should allow for future administrators to assess the right time to sell property.
I actually want to agree with you. I have been critical of certain SITLA decisions for years. My problem is do I trust the legislature to be better than SITLA administrators? Like I said before, I'm not sure on that one. I will have to think on that and see how the bill progresses and if there are changes, as there often are.
 

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Every year there are a number of bills that impact us either directly or indirectly as sportsmen. The legislative session begins on January 17th, but there are already some bills that look like they can have an impact. I will use this thread to post links to bills I see that may impact us. I won't profess to follow every piece of legislation, so I may miss some.

The get us started, Title 23 of the Utah Code, also known as the Wildlife Resources Code, will be renumbered. Nothing should change substantively in the renumbering. The legislature has figured out that most of the code is poorly written and inconsistent, and they have been doing this to the criminal code last year and this year as well. The goal is to make statutes consistent across chapters, sections, and subsections. So Utah Code Title 23 is going to get a face lift this year. Things will look a bit different than you are accustomed to if you have read the statutes there.

I would encourage anyone that has an opinion on these matters to not only pizz and moan about it here, but to actually get involved. Write your legislators. Show up to committee hearings. (They are all available virtually now if you don't want to head to SLC.) The legislative process is supposed to be a public process, but that only works if the public cares enough to get involved.

Here is a link to a page you can see every proposed bill in the legislature this year:

And here is a link for you to find your legislators, if you don't already know them:
(If you don't know who they are....SHAME ON YOU!)
Thanks for reminding us! I think I better dive into the sessions, possible changes to the wildlife/recreational program and stop bitching and complaining here.

I have a new goal this new year to find the positive in post's and refrain from blabbering out negative BS that I've done in the past. I've spent some time reading over many of the comments I've made, and gee whiz Wally, I got pizzed at myself. :rolleyes:
 

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Well, well, well, what do we have here:

The cowboy caucus strikes again.

Other than extending the definition of "bank" to be the first 3 feet from public water, not sure how much worse this is than 141? 🤷‍♂️

Also, since it only applies to non navigable waters, it looks like the USAC will need to start working on more navigability declarations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Also, since it only applies to non navigable waters, it looks like the USAC will need to start working on more navigability declarations.
I remember sitting in a meeting the governor put together in 2010 with various stakeholders and one was a landowner on the upper Weber.

He was the most outspoken person in the room and I pulled him aside afterward and asked him if he preferred having fishermen coming through his land while he still technically owned the stream bed or if he preferred fishermen coming through after he lost title to the stream bed as it’s a navigable water way and he can’t own the bed of a navigable water way.

He insisted that could never happen. Guess where the first navigable water determination took place at? Anyone see those commercials that play on instant replay and someone can throw the challenge flag to see what the person said? Most of the landowners that were regulars fighting against us were actually on the upper Weber. I wonder if they wish they could go back to 2010 and change their rhetoric these days? They certainly can’t say it was without warning.
 

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I remember sitting in a meeting the governor put together in 2010 with various stakeholders and one was a landowner on the upper Weber.

He was the most outspoken person in the room and I pulled him aside afterward and asked him if he preferred having fishermen coming through his land while he still technically owned the stream bed or if he preferred fishermen coming through after he lost title to the stream bed as it’s a navigable water way and he can’t own the bed of a navigable water way.

He insisted that could never happen. Guess where the first navigable water determination took place at? Anyone see those commercials that play on instant replay and someone can throw the challenge flag to see what the person said? Most of the landowners that were regulars fighting against us were actually on the upper Weber. I wonder if they wish they could go back to 2010 and change their rhetoric these days? They certainly can’t say it was without warning.

Yeah, life has taken me away from following a lot of the strategy and meetings of the USAC the last couple years, but I've wondered to myself why we haven't pursued the navigability angle more aggressively, especially in light of favorable judicial rulings. I know at the time the answer was to "let the legislative process run its course". It seems at this point like it has and the hardline opponents and their patrons seem even more unwilling to compromise even a little.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I too have had to to take a step back from the inner workings, but my best guess is the answer is money.

Proving navigability is expensive. Requires lots of research and experts, even if the attorney isn’t paid a dime.

If the legislature would play nicely, we could answer the questions without all those costs. Also, the “all waters of the state” public trust case has to come to a conclusion. You can’t go this far and not see that through. If it comes out favorably, we also would not need to pursue navigability on small sections of streams at a time.

All that said, the last message I saw from them was looking for examples of people being harassed or kicked off streams so navigability claims could be made. So that definitely looks to be in the strategy plan still moving forward.
 

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HB 55 - This is an update to the online education course for OHV use. Everyone fired up over that issue may want to take a look at this one! (Or just come on here and complain after the fact... 😜)

I won’t complain about having to pay OHV fees or taking an OHV drivers test as soon as an OHV trail is put in around AI.
Horse people, pedal bikers, runners, hikers, etc can use the island but no motorized vehicle trail on a massive island owned by ‘the people’?
And those other users don’t even have to even register their horses, bikes, or boots/shoes.
 

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Looks like they are having renters complete the course but not people that are part of a guided tour.

205 (4) The requirements described in this section do not apply to:
206 (a) a snowmobile or an off-highway implement of husbandry; or
207 (b) an individual operating an off-highway vehicle as part of a guided tour or a
208 sanctioned off-highway vehicle event.
209 (5) A person may not rent an off-highway vehicle to an individual until the individual
210 who will operate the off-highway vehicle presents a certificate of completion of the
211 off-highway vehicle safety education and training program established in accordance with this
212 section and rules made under Subsection

What is an off highway implement of husbandry and why do snowmobiles not have to get these license plates? Is it because they don't typically drive on the roads, trails?

A lot of state money is spent grooming trails, more I would say than is spent grading roads. Seems like they should be paying their share somehow.

Wonder how much our registration fees are going to go up to pay for the plates.

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