Efforts to seize the land in Utah that is protected from development by the Federal Government are continuing by Utah legislators and others.
Morgan Philpot is planning to run for Governor in Utah. According to an article in Utah State University’s the Utah Statesman, Philpot is adamant that Utah needs to demand the feds to return to the land to Utah.
“Our governors, in times past, have behaved like geographic-area administrators for the federal government,” Philpot said. “They are not. We are a sovereign state. That is our land — stolen from us.”
The article also quotes political science department chair from USU who says that the documented verbage for control of the land when Utah became a state is being misinterpreted:
“Some members of the Utah Legislature believe a part of the legislation that allowed Utah to join the U.S. — the Enabling Act of 1894 — requires the federal government to dispose of lands it currently controls inside state boundaries.”
“I just don’t think that’s an accurate reading of Section 9,” Lyons said. “I think they’re taking it out of context.”
Lyons said the enabling act states even after Utah gained statehood, the federal government would continue to own a substantial amount of the land inside Utah boundaries.
“The national government owned this land as a territory prior to the creation of the state of Utah,” Lyons said. “The Enabling Act delineates tracts of land formerly in national government control that are ceded to the state of Utah … then it says, ‘But all the other federal land is ours and Utah has no claim to it.'”
Back to Philpot’s statement….Who is “us” ?
The notion that protected Utah lands should be in the hands of Utah’s government for economic growth is preposterous. The only people that lands should be “returned to” are the original guardians of the land (that really belongs to all life) – Native Americans. Until that is agreed upon, the land should remain in its protected state from any type of development.