Study: Utah Could Manage Federally Controlled Land

Dec 1, 2014

Dixie National Forest, Utah.
Credit Jeff Turner / Flickr Creative Commons

A report released Monday shows Utah could afford to manage more than 30 million acres of public land within its borders if the state somehow took control of those acres from federal agencies.

State officials requested the economic study as part of a push to gain control of land in federal hands.

Utah's Republican governor and legislators argue local officials would be better land managers. They passed a 2012 law demanding the federal government hand over the land by 2015.

There's no indication the federal government would agree to such a transfer. Critics argue the state has no legal claim to the land.

The nearly 800-page study only looks at hypothetical costs and benefits if the state controlled the land.

It does not address how Utah might acquire the land.