U.S. House of Representatives Passes Important Utah Conservation Measure 

 Corona Arch
Corona Arch will become federally owned public land when H.R. 1275 becomes law.

Imagine an oil well beneath the Fisher Towers, a mine in Moab’s Goldbar Canyon or an off-road vehicle trail paralleling the Colorado River in Westwater Canyon. Thankfully, these threats to wilderness are one step closer to being eliminated because on Wednesday, July 8th, the U. S. House of Representatives unanimously passed H.R. 1275, the Utah Recreational Land Exchange Act, sponsored by Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT).  If you live in his district, please thank Rep. Matheson for his commitment to passing this piece of legislation.

If you don't live in Matheson's district, please thank your own representative for supporting the Utah Recreational Land Exchange Act!

Since statehood, Utah and several other Western states have dealt with a checkerboard land ownership pattern of state lands surrounded by federal lands. These state land inholdings are managed for maximum revenue generation and are periodically offered for sale to the highest bidder, posing the threat of development and exploitation even in areas the federal Bureau of Land Management manages as wilderness.

Fortunately, the Utah agency that manages these state lands, the Utah congressional delegation, and the Grand Canyon Trust developed legislation to exchange these inholdings for parcels of federal land in areas already impacted by development. This creates a win-win situation that provides protection for important wild lands but allows the state to develop appropriate lands to help fund schools. The legislation, which has wide support and should become law soon, will exchange over 40,000 acres of state land along the Colorado River corridor -- within areas such as Beaver Creek, Fisher Towers, and the Book Cliffs -- for land more appropriate for development in other parts of the state.

Please thank your member of Congress for supporting the Utah Recreational Land Exchange Act!

Thank you,

SUWA's Grassroots Team



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