Public Lands Policy Coordinating Office releases H.B. 142 report

SALT LAKE CITY (Dec. 1, 2014) – The Public Lands Policy Coordinating Office (PLPCO) publicly released a final report today required by H.B. 142, concerning the economic analysis of a possible transfer of public lands from the federal government to the state.

The report, entitled An Analysis of a Transfer of Federal Lands to the State of Utah, finds that revenue from public lands is sufficient to cover costs of current operations, without consideration of revenue enhancements or cost-cutting efficiencies.

“It is important to make decisions based upon a thorough review of accurate, relevant information,” said Gov. Gary R. Herbert. “By conducting a thorough economic analysis, the Public Lands Policy Coordinating Office has provided policymakers with the data to assess the opportunities, challenges and risks associated with the potential transfer of public lands from federal to state ownership,”

The Analysis was prepared by a team of economists from the University of Utah, Utah State University and Weber State University. The report contains information about revenue generated from public lands, cost of operation by the federal land management agencies and other non-market values of the public lands. A copy of the full report may be found here.

“I expect that public discussion will be well-served by this report. It shows the complexities and connections between Utah’s robust economy, and the great quality of life Utahns enjoy,” said Gov. Herbert.

Recommendations for further legislative consideration were prepared by PLPCO following their review of the Analysis, and pose questions for further consideration of the Legislature. The Governor’s Office will continue to review the Analysis, and will work with the Legislature as it makes further deliberations.

The Analysis and recommendations were individually delivered to the members of the Commission on Stewardship of the Public Lands, but will be reviewed in length during their Dec. 3, 2014 committee meeting.