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I have heard a lot of talk lately about the State of Utah taking over the management of Federal Lands within its borders. I've gotta be honest, I haven't paid as much attention to the subject as I should. Subsequently, I'm pretty ignorant on the subject, but I would like to know what the potential implications are if the state did manage those lands, or if it remained in the hands of the feds. Can someone please enlighten me on the subject? I'd like to hear all perspectives, and form an opinion of my own. As a sportsman, any changes in use of public lands concerns me, be it for better or worse. TIA.
 

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For starters, your state taxes will go up, or other state funded programs will be cut (highway maintenance, schools, etc) to fund and run the newly acquired "enterprise".

Another speculative outcome is pitting one state against another on usage of state lands. Without the fed being involved, certain constitutional protections are negated (interstate commerce) and non-residents might not be able to use those lands like they can now. So, if one state will not allow NR's to use it freely, better get used to staying home because the state you may be a NR in will return the favor likewise.

And, of course, the state can always sell off bits and pieces of it if needed...
 

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Thanks for the response, HDE.

Taxes makes sense. I suppose that rather than increasing state sales tax, income tax, or property taxes, they could institute a use tax in the form of tolls at every entrance to public lands, or do like they do in the Uinta mountains and require you to have paid daily fees for your vehicle if you are parking anywhere in the area. That would be lame, but I guess those who use the land would share the biggest part of the burden of paying to have it taken care of.

The part that worries me most is the last point you mentioned, in that they will sell it off. If there's one thing we have learned about the government, its that it is usually bad with money. In time, they'll need money, and selling off the land would provide the biggest ROI. I hate to see when land that has been open access to the public is closed off. On the other hand, I have seen the same thing happen with Federal land around Moab. While you can still access the land, the use of the land is greatly limited.

Interesting points. I am anxious to hear others.
 

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The biggest proponent and political leader carrying the flag in Utah is State Rep Ivory from West Jordan. Why is that important? Ivory Homes. Real estate development.

and the push if accomplished, would result in not all, but certainly the most prime lands, or better yet, access to those lands, being sold to generate money for the State School Funds, or that is how it is being sold. Envision all the canyons along the Wasatch to be private lands, open for a fee (ski tag) but closed to anyone that doesn't have a key to the gate. Envision hunting switching from primarily public lands, to the prime canyons, valleys, or other swaths being sold and turned into CWMUs, or high fence operations, where elk hunts start around $15,000, or high fenced areas be turned into places to shoot exotics of every kind - again for a healthy fee. Envision the mouth of a canyon with a great fishing stream being bought, and to get to the stream, you'll pay a trespass fee. Envision a huge shift of management from a large scale ecosystem or watershed approach, to small scale (smaller at least - probably 10-15,000 acre chunks) where continuity of the watershed and functioning ecosystem are tossed out for what is best for me (like you see in the city where we live in a desert, yet everyone has kentucky blue grass they overwater five nights/week). Sure, the green grass looks great, but the watershed suffers.

That is what comes with the transfer of federal lands to states. But hey. It is all for the children that will live in the Ivory homes built at all of these locations. But hey, that's just my opinion.
 
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If the state of Utah EVER gets a hold of those lands, most of the lands will be leased on a long term contract. Oil and Cattle will get them and then the remaining lands will be sold off to private interests. Hunters and fishermen will have fewer and fewer areas they can go.
To see an example of what I am talking about, see how much access there presently is on the weber or the provo.
 

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The Mormon church has a habit of purchasing large tracts of land and has the coffers and interest to buy more land in Utah (if available) then any other concern on earth.

Ivory homes is small potatoes in this debate. But I guess every ostrich needs a hole to stick its head in.

The majority of acreage in Utah is currently being utilized as graze for cattle. Not potential golf coarse's ski resorts home developments or eve gas coal and oil not logging either. It's graze.

Who's the biggest cattle rancher in the US? The Mormon church.

I'd be far more concerned with Deseret land and live stock growing to 30 million acres before I would worry about anything else if this stupid land control bs ever went anywhere.

Pfff ivory homes!

How about Don Peay? He's got to have something to do with this.
 

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I see what you are saying, but grazing is the farthest thing from anything. The best grazing lands in Utah are already private. And the rest - well - pretty marginal at best. That is, if you've ever been in high quality grazing lands - Nebraska's Sand Hills, Eastern Montana, Oklahoma, Texas, Florida. Heck, DLL's Utah operation is small beans compared to their Florida operation where grass grows year round, and you measure forage in AUMs/Acre instead of section. It takes a whole lot of creative mormon dislike and conspiracy thinking to think they are behind the whole public lands transfer.
 

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Or just not in denial.

When was the last time ivory homes or anybody else for that matter purchased 400,000 acres for over $500 million dollars. The church did just a few years ago.

Talk about aspirations to acquire land. DLL makes Ted Turner look like a gentleman rancher.

I'm sure the LDS church has a horse in the Utah land swap debacle. Except you won't hear them say boo about it. They don't concern themselves with political issues. Like gay marriage, drinking, education and immigration.
 

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Or just not in denial.

When was the last time ivory homes or anybody else for that matter purchased 400,000 acres for over $500 million dollars. The church did just a few years ago.

Talk about aspirations to acquire land. DLL makes Ted Turner look like a gentleman rancher.

I'm sure the LDS church has a horse in the Utah land swap debacle. Except you won't hear them say boo about it. They don't concern themselves with political issues. Like gay marriage, drinking, education and immigration.
When have they ever said they don't concern themselves with political issues? OF COURSE THEY DO!
 

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Aside from Iron Bear's wildly interesting comments, I second what has been said here in regards to land management.

If the state acquires it, it WILL be sold off to developers. The land will then become private, and we'll be locked out of our heritage. There's no gray area there, as far as I'm concerned. Herbert is in bed with developers, Ivory is as well, and all these politicians stand to make a whole lot of money if they sell OUR public lands.

I write a monthly fly fishing column for the Standard-Examiner, and a few months ago I used it to cover this debate. http://www.standard.net/Recreation/...-and-What-it-Means-for-Fishermen-in-Utah.html

I go into some more detail there if you're looking for additional information. But the short of it is, if the state gets hold of the land, we can say goodbye to it.
 

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So BYU buys the rest of the mountain that they owned the lower half of, and now you're dreaming up some half-baked conspiracy that them dad-gum Mormons want all the federal land in the state? I buy a lot of conspiracies but even that one's a stretch.

This is a really pathetic attempt to smear a group, compadre. If the LDS church had gone and bought thousands of acres of prime elk land, then put up a fence and said no one could hunt it, I'd see a very valid concern there.

We can speculate why the State Senate didn't pick this bill up in 2012/2013, but in the end does it really matter? I'm not a fan of Chaffetz and I think Hatch is one of the worst human beings alive, but I fail to see the foul play here. They did something to help out a controlling interest in Utah Valley and the state as a whole. Isn't that what politicians do?

You're gonna have to come up with something better here. And if you're trying to fight against the LDS church instead of the real enemy here - the land developers who want oil and gas leases on our hunting and fishing lands - then you're wasting your time.
 

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It doesn't matter who the He** buys the land, the Mormons, Ted Turner, the Chinese,...don't matter at all...what does matter is that IF THE LAND GETS INTO THE HANDS OF THE STATE OF UTAH IT WILL GET SOLD OFF, LOCKED UP AND OUT OF REACH TO ALL AMERICA! Private property is always NO TRESPASSING!
Doesn't matter what your interest, hunting, fishing, biking, hiking, equestrian, bird watching, ATVing, you name it...YOU WILL BE LOCKED OUT!!
 

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This is a really pathetic attempt to smear a group, compadre. If the LDS church had gone and bought thousands of acres of prime elk land, then put up a fence and said no one could hunt it, I'd see a very valid .
Funny you say this.

You used to be able to hunt woodruff prior to DLL.

Agreed any land sale is undesirable.

But you are all are being quit ignorant to think the church hasn't a care about the land in Utah.
 

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Funny you say this.

You used to be able to hunt woodruff prior to DLL.

Agreed any land sale is undesirable.

But you are all are being quit ignorant to think the church hasn't a care about the land in Utah.
DLL was in private ownership before the Church bought it. So they did not take public land, and close it to the public. They took private land, and it remains private land.

And way back in the 70s before the Church bought it, you could hunt most any private land if you asked and promised not to tear up the place. After too many years of slob hunters everywhere, land owners from Idaho to Arizona got sick of it and locked gates and put up signs.
 
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Getting back to Chasers original question, I've noticed that a few "talking heads" are promising that the land grab will not result in wholesale sale of public lands into the private sector. I find these promises extremely dubious. Besides the fact that folks like Ivory have stated that their goal of the land grab is to place public lands in the private sector, there are formidible issues that would arise if the State took over federal lands. Issues like fire control are notable, but IMO, the biggest one is PILT (payments in lieu of taxes). The federal government pays (mostly) rural counties payments for the public lands in a jurisdiction that somewhat take the place of private land being taxed by the county. These monies make up a sizable amount of revenue to many rural counties. If the state took over these lands, Federal PILT would disappear. If the State didn't pay the counties, then the counties would be in economic crisis. If the State paid out PILT, it would be a major drain on their bottom line. It would thus be economic NECESSITY that the state would quickly need to start selling of land to aid both their bottom line and the rural counties that use PILT as their economic cash cow.
 

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My concern wouldn't be so much that someone would swoop in and buy up 400,000 acres of land from the state to form their own private hunting ranch or something. The far more dangerous thing, and more realistic thing, would be for a private entity - developer - to buy up the land at the mouth of a canyon with the only road to an area, or buy up the lands at every access point. So with purchase of say three 1,000 acre parcels, would essentially landlock all the state lands within that area, cutting it off from everyone else. Those 1,000 acres could be subdivided into ranchettes behind a master gate, providing private access to public lands, and cutting the public out. Think about the development around Jordanelle, where private parcels control arms of that reservoir. Thank goodness BuRec built the two state parks before they let any other lands be sold, or that would be a virtually private lake. The same thing can/will happen to the large tracts of land.
 
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