One of the more troubling issues facing the people of Utah is the federal governments' stranglehold on Utah's lands. More than 60 percent of the land in Utah is owned by the federal government, which means that people thousands of miles away in Washington have more say over Utah lands than the folks who live here.
The fundamental right of Utahns to have control over the land in their own state is a cause worth fighting for. There are solutions to our economic and energy crises underneath our feet in the form of natural gas and mineable minerals. If we truly want to create jobs and grow our economy, Utahns need to be able to use their natural resources unfettered by federal control.
Legislation Proposed to Reclaim Utah's Land
Senator Hatch has sponsored dozens of bills aimed to return lands to Utah and provide greater access to our public lands. Two of the most recent bills are S. 2365 the WEST Act and S. 1580 the Protecting Public Safety and Sacred Sites from the Utah Prairie Dog Act of 2011.
The Western Economic Security Today (WEST) Act is a compilation of several pieces of legislation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives.
"Time and time again, this White House and its liberal allies in Congress have chosen to stand in the way of job creation across America, and the development of abundant natural resources in the West. The Department of Energy claims there is more than 800 billion barrels of recoverable oil in oil shale in Utah, Wyoming, and Colorado alone, but this White House has chosen to close off much of this land to development. The House of Representatives has taken action to lower gas prices and create jobs utilizing the vast resources in the West. It's time the Obama Administration and its liberal allies in the Senate follow suit by taking up this critical job-creating legislation." –Senator Orrin Hatch
Protecting Public Safety and Sacred Sites from the Utah Prairie Dog Act of 2011:
The piece of legislation grants the Fish and Wildlife Service the ability to remove prairie dogs from airports and cemeteries that are located within the range of the Utah Prairie Dog.
"Just this past August, I met with Iron County officials and saw firsthand the damage prairie dogs have caused across the county. The county's hands were tied in dealing with this problem, and this bill will ensure that the proper resources are dedicated to addressing this public safety concern. I'm pleased the delegation has been able to quickly come together and introduce this meaningful legislation to protect the safety and sanctity of sites across our state." –Senator Orrin Hatch