Gov. Herbert signs largest land exchange in a decade

 

Today, Gov. Herbert signed the most significant land exchange in Utah in the past decade and demonstrated how a public land state like Utah can work productively with the federal government to protect scenic venues while maximizing the development potential of previously reserved lands.

Under the Utah Recreational Land Exchange Act of 2009, the Bureau of Land Management  and State of Utah have consolidated land ownership through an equal value exchange of lands in Uintah, Grand and San Juan counties. This 60,000-acre land exchange is a win-win for recreation and public schools.

The agreement breaks down like this:

· 25,000 acres will be transferred to the BLM, and include portions of Westwater Canyon, riparian areas along the Colorado River, the nationally-recognized Kokopelli and Slickrock trails, and iconic red rock landscapes such as Corona Arch.

· 35,000 acres of land more suitable for development will now be managed by the Trust Lands Administration to earn revenue, much of it through energy development

· Revenue derived from these newly acquired trust lands benefit our public schools, and will add to the $1.7 billion Permanent School Fund.

The governor says he hopes today’s signing is a stepping stone to further exchanges to maximize the benefit of the land for the people of Utah.