Legislative Town Hall meeting Thursday to discuss public lands

The federal government controls slightly more than 63 percent of the land in Utah. A taxpayer-funded study is underway on the economics of the state managing that land instead. Photo courtesy Utah Public Lands Policy Coordination Office.

There are many complex issues regarding public lands in Utah, but a Town Hall Meeting has been arranged by Cache County’s state representatives where local residents will be able to learn more about current and future management and use of public lands.

According to Representative Ed Redd, R-District 4, the meeting will take place on Thursday, May 18, starting at 7 p.m. at Utah State University’s Taggart Student Center Auditorium. Redd said there will be a knowledgeable panel comprised of Paul Jakus of Utah State University and three others from the University of Utah—John Downen, Michael Hogue and Levi Pace.

“They’re co-authors of a study that was conducted over 18 months and resulted in a 700-page document that I think is really in-depth and important to understand,” Redd explained. “Certainly, I think it’s going to be a very good discussion and useful for people that are interested in understanding the economic aspects of transfer of public lands to the State of Utah.”

The panel presentation will be followed by a question-and-answer discussion with the audience. Redd said the public lands in question are mostly Bureau of Land Managment and U.S. Forest Service lands that account for more than 60 percent of Utah’s land area.

The “Transfer of Public Lands Act”, also known as HB 148, was passed in the 2012 legislative session and it seeks the transfer of title for 31.2 million acres of public land currently under the ownership or management of the federal government.

KVNU’s For the People host Jason Williams will act as moderator of the Legislative Town Hall meeting.

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