Commissioner on Report that States Lack Legal Standing to Seize Federal Lands

Last week, attorneys general from a group of Western states released a 48-page report analysis saying that Utah and other western states lack strong legal arguments to seize federal lands. In response, Uintah County Commissioner Mike McKee says the announcement should confirm the value of the Public Lands Initiative which he says can accomplish the same goals but in a legal way. “I don’t know what position the state of Utah will take but I think it is clear from the Attorney General’s Office that there is not a good argument to claim public lands,” says McKee. “One thing we have long said here in the Basin is if there ever was a transfer of public lands, we would want to ensure that we did not lose mineral lease funds. We use those to accomplish valuable goals in the Basin.” The western states movement to transfer public lands to state control is a separate issue from the Public Lands Initiative, explains Commissioner McKee. Local officials have overall stated their support of Congressman Rob Bishop’s Public Lands Initiative.  

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Kristin Baldwin

Kristin never planned to work in news radio but has thoroughly enjoyed being part of the news team at KVEL. Her love of literature and writing developed in high school which led her to study English Literature and Technical Writing at BYU. She received her BA in English from BYU in 2005 and studied at UVU in Orem for 2 semesters to become a Certified Technical Writer in 2006. Two months after completion she began her dream job of being a stay-at-home mom.  As mother of 2 energetic kids, she began writing from home for the KVEL news team in 2011 and considers it the perfect fit as a full time mom and part time writer.