Herbert: Utah should have more control of public land

Utah lawsuits contend counties should have transportation rights-of-way on roads on federal land in the state, even if – like this spot in Kane County – they don't look much like roads.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Gov. Gary Herbert says Utah should have more oversight of public lands within state borders.

Herbert said Thursday in a monthly televised news conference on KUED state officials are better equipped to manage federal lands because they’re more familiar with local issues.

Herbert says federal projects and plans can take years to approve and he believes state authorities could streamline the process.

Herbert said he does not foresee any conflict in Utah akin to an armed standoff in recent weeks between Nevada protesters and the federal Bureau of Land Management. He cautioned against such an exhibition.

The governor’s comments come on the heels of a meeting of officials from nine Western states who on Friday said it’s time they take control of federal lands rich in oil, timber and minerals.

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