Unless you live in Utah, you probably don’t know about the 1.9 million acres the president and some environmentalists want to federalize, against the wishes of every member of Utah’s congressional delegation and many Utahans. Some of whom try to driver armed ATV’s through public land in protest.
The land at stake includes the Bears Ears region, which is home to several Native American burial sites. For 80 years, how to best preserve this land, but also make sure it is not shut off to all economic development has been a sore topic. Utah’s elected representatives devised a plan called the Utah Public Land Initiative Act (PLI) – sponsored by Reps. Bob Bishop (D, 67%) and Jason Chaffetz (C, 78%) – to make sure that the land that should be preserved is preserved, and the land that should remain open stays open.
The PLI will also allow local entities to maintain some land that has been seized by the federal government already and localize energy development.
But environmentalists aren’t happy that the PLI would allow some land to be open to economic development. These environmentalists want President Obama to use his authority under the Antiquities Act to lock up the 1.9 million acres now.