With 75% of Utah’s lands in public ownership, and most of that federal lands, the management and use of public lands is critical for the State. Most of Utah’s rich natural resources for utilization and preservation is found on public lands. The State and local communities need a leading role in having our national lands reflect the desires of and impacts on Utahns.
Governor Huntsman has a plan to increase funding for PILT, which will flow to Utah’s schools and communities. By working with federal agencies to develop economic development plans for lands contained within city limits or adjacent to city limits, we can follow Nevada’s example to allow public lands to play a greater role in the economic growth of our communities. This plan will also enable our communities to provide the transportation and health infrastructure that is desperately needed in our rural communities.
Arriving at the best management for public lands should be a collaborative exercise between local, state, and federal officials with direct input from the range of users. If elected Governor, Governor Huntsman will re-shape the public lands agenda for Utah and serve as a leader in convening all interests to arrive at and carry out local-based solutions that balance the national interest in our public lands. We live here. We know our lands and appreciate them for their many valued resources and uses.
COVID-19 has shown us how fragile our supply chains can be. Utah is home to vibrant agricultural producers and critical minerals. We should continue to responsibly develop and utilize our state’s natural resources.
Additionally, COVID-19 has shown that our rural counties do not have the EMS and public health resources they need to support their burgeoning tourism economies. We need to do a better job at ensuring that economic development from public lands flows to rural communities that rely on utilization of public lands.
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