BLM Conveys Ashley Springs Property to Uintah County
By Kristin Forbis, May 20, 2020
In a news release issued on May 19, 2020, the Bureau of Land Management Vernal Field Office announced the conveyance of 790 acres of public lands, known as Ashley Springs Property, over to Uintah County. “Protecting watersheds and aquifers is vital in this part of Utah and across the West. We’re pleased to be able to finalize this conveyance to ensure that this source of fresh water remains intact,” shares BLM Utah Acting State Director Anita Bilbao. The John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act signed by President Trump in 2019 directs the BLM to convey 790 acres of the Federal Land to Uintah County to be managed as open space to protect the watershed and underground karst system and aquifer. “This 790 acre transfer is a big deal for Vernal and Uintah County, one of the many wins secured for Utah in the lands package passed at the start of the session,” says Congressman Rob Bishop. “It shrinks the federal estate and guarantees local control and I’m pleased the Administration was able to finalize the transfer. This conveyance is another important precedent showing Congress recognizes that state and local control is good for the land and for the people.” Of note is that the conveyance includes surface and mineral interests for Uintah County. The Uintah County Commissioners have expressed their satisfaction in seeing the conveyance move forward. “Uintah County is very pleased to finally get one step closer in realizing the transfer of 790 acres in Ashley Gorge to Uintah County,” shares the Commissioners. “The transfer of Ashley Springs will put local government in charge of our Valley's critical water supply. We appreciate Congressman Bishop's hard work for passage of this legislation and Secretary Bernhardt's implementation to move this transfer forward and receive the parcel by the end of July 2020.” The land will be segregated from appropriation under the public land laws and as such the BLM will not be accepting land use applications that affect this particular parcel. The earliest the land will be conveyed is July 20th. For more information, contact the Vernal Field Manager at 435-781-3416.