The orange cone, pretty much the symbol of the State of Utah, or at least a permanent part of our landscape. With so many road projects going on around the state, it makes one wonder, how do you decide which road gets the expansion and the attention that it needs. Well that’s a tricky question, not only for us to answer, but for the person that actually has to make those decisions.
Susan Wood takes a look at how government entities make land swap. If you look at the state map you’ll see little checkerboards of blue land across the state. These areas represent School and Institutional Trust Lands, these are blocks of land that were placed in trust to the state of Utah to help fund public education. In some cases these lands are swapped for other lands that have greater income generating potential. It’s a good fit for both parties but the process is a long one.
The panel continues on with the discussion about the importance of leaving the land as a legacy for future generations, and the issue of rs2477 roads and keeping access for both agriculture and recreation.
Terry Wood and the rest of the panel talk about the important issue of access to public lands and the effect that the large amount of public lands have on the state and local governments. How has the federal government coordinated with local and state government, in the past?
Pat Shea, who is a former director of the Bureau of Land Management during the Clinton Administration, Randy Parker, who is the CEO of the Utah Farm Bureau, and John Harja the director of public lands under the governor’s office. Who should manage the access to public lands in Utah, should it be managed more at the local level, or is it better that it the federal government makes those decisions.