Washington controls over 60 percent of Utah’s land – often times locking out state and local officials from having input on how these lands are managed and used. This can result in policies that have terrible consequences on our state and rural communities who depend on the land for their economic wellbeing. It’s time to rebalance the scales so our communities aren’t pushed to the sidelines by elites and environmentalists who think they know what’s best for Utah.
I was encouraged by action taken this week by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to change the Department’s misguided wild lands policy that bypassed Congress with a lopsided land use policy and that pushed our state and local communities to the sidelines. This announcement was a positive step, but we have to remain vigilant to keep the Washington bureaucrats in check.
What we need to do is loosen the federal government’s choke chain around the necks of these lands. Just last week, I announced new legislation to release nearly half a billion acres of federal land deemed unsuitable for wilderness designation. It is my hope that Utahns can better enjoy the use of their lands and that we can minimize the bureaucratic influence of the administration’s land grabbing policies.
Senator Hatch takes the Obama Administration to task for sending over 2 billion dollars overseas to subsidize Brazilian Oil production:
Senator Hatch’s Memorial Day Message to Utahns
Last month our nation observed the 150 th anniversary of the shelling of Fort Sumter, S.C., the opening salvo of the American Civil War. By the time our nation’s bloodiest conflict ended at Appomattox four years later, more than 620,000 Americans had died.
In 1863, Abraham Lincoln said in his famed Gettysburg Address that our “fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation conceived in liberty.” From Cemetery to Heartbreak Ridge, Belleau Wood to Bastogne, and Kasserine Pass to Kandahar, hundreds of thousands of Americans have paid the ultimate sacrifice to, as Lincoln put it, test “whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.”
Today, thanks to the sacrifices of so many of our veterans, America not only endures but inspires heads and hearts across the globe with a love of freedom and liberty. Memorial Day is a time to remember these brave Americans and to renew our commitment to uphold the sacred principles and lofty ideals they so nobly defended and upon which our republic is founded.
Hatch Lauds Interior Department for Reversal on Wild Lands Policy
I am gratified that they appear to finally understand that arbitrarily restricting citizens’ use of our public lands and obstructing the development of domestic energy and other resources on those lands is the wrong thing to do, especially during an economic recession and without any input from Congress or local officials. I’m also thankful for the efforts of Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, for the lawsuit they filed against the federal government over its wild lands policy and bringing more pressure to bear on the Administration.
Hatch, Barrasso Bill Helps Ranchers by Preserving Grazing Rights
“Our ranchers are responsible land stewards who should not be held hostage by a rigid permitting process or by lawsuits from environmental elitists who want to keep all livestock off of our public lands. This legislation will help provide our livestock producers with the certainty they need to make a living and to continue to contribute in a significant way to our economy.”
Hatch Comments on Utah Lawsuit Against Wild Lands Policy
“I commend the Governor and Attorney General of the state of Utah for leading the court battle against a wild lands policy that has already had and will continue to have detrimental effects on developing Utah’s natural resources. With a majority of land in Utah owned by the federal government, the needs of local communities must be balanced with the need to preserve and protect areas that truly have wilderness characteristics. ”
Barrasso, Hatch Introduce Bill to Curb Environmental Extremists’ Excessive Lawsuits against Federal Government, Taxpayers
Our nation must not allow and cannot afford to let extremists hijack our laws and hold the American people hostage to their radical views. This legislation will help put a stop to the abuses of these deep-pocketed environmental groups, bring greater reporting and accountability to the process and lessen taxpayers’ burden to pay for the attorney fees incurred by these lawsuits.
Senator Orrin Hatch
P.S. If you have any concerns which my office can help with, please visit my website at hatch.senate.gov.