The federal government owns 67 percent of the land in Utah. Other western states are in the same situation, with the federal government controlling various amounts of western land.
What most Americans do not know is that the Constitution states that the federal government does not own land. The Enabling Act, the legal document that makes Utah a state, spells out specifically that the federal government will "dispose" of land in Utah. We have asked them to “dispose” of the land back to the citizens of the state.
In spite of how the federal government mismanages land, often citing budget constraints, it fights giving up the land. It's a power play that slaps American citizens in the face! It undermines state sovereignty and the rights of the people.
One of the important issues that I will tackle as a member of Congress is the lands issue, teaching members of Congress who live east of the Mississippi to understand the rights of the states and put control of land back in the hands of the citizens of the various western states.
The state should determine the best use of federal lands in Utah, not far-away bureaucrats in Washington D.C.