State senator looking to improve Utah’s land use management

At the present time, the state of Utah does not have a codified state land use management plan. That could change according to State Senator Ralph Okerlund, R-District 24. His district covers much of rural Utah, including Tooele, Juab, Sanpete, Sevier, Piute and Wayne counties.On KVNU’s For the People show Tuesday, Okerlund said a Land Use Management plan is up for proposal. His bill, SB221, passed Senate approval Wednesday afternoon. It now goes to the Utah House. Okerlund says on December 23, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar decreed that the Bureau of Land Management would go back and look for additional wilderness designations on land throughout the state and the West.”To qualify for wildland designation, it needs to meet about the same requirements it does for wilderness,” Okerlund explained. “What this will do is allow us to say, ‘if there is a proposal for wildlands, a section of land, we’ll have great detail out there that we can go take a look at and see if it really does qualify.'”He says many of the counties have already passed their own land use management plans.

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