We talk about public lands a lot on this show. There is a reason of course, because the decisions made on that land has a direct impact on the local governments and citizens who live there, particularly when you look beyond the Wasatch Front.
It’s not an issue that stands out here along the Wasatch Front. Weber (18.2%), Davis (22.9%) , Salt Lake (21.4%) and Utah Counties (46.7%) all have a smaller percentage of public lands within their boundaries relative to other Counties in Utah that can be as much as 90% public lands.
(Federal Land Payments in Utah 1999 pg18.)
A great example of the disconnect between the Wasatch Front and the rest of the state can be seen in Salt Lake City’s resolution opposing the Transfer of Public Lands to State Control that was signed this week.
This week on the program we will bring you an update on the
Public Lands Initiative, AKA ‘Grand Bargain’
an effort that Congressman Rob Bishop and his office have been working on for about 2 years now. The effort will involve land planning in 8 counties in Eastern Utah. The goal is to create some certainty for planning efforts. The story will give you a brief overview of the process and look at some changes that have taken place in Grand County since the last election.
Chad Booth will sit down with Lynn Jackson, the former chair of the Grand County Council; Colin Fryer, a local outfitter; and Marion DeLay, the executive director of the Moab Area Travel Council; to discuss the opportunities that are available to the citizens of the county through this effort. I think you will be surprised by what you will learn about the strong tourism economy that has been built up in Moab since the last mining bust.
The Public Lands Initiative has involved some 120 stakeholders, 500 meetings, and 18 field trips. There are a lot of issues to take into account and everyone has a slightly different lens which they observe the highest and best use of public lands in UTAH. I can only imagine that is is like being between a rock and a hard place for the elected officials who are right there in the thick of it.
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