House Panel OKs Utah Lands Bill Over Tribal Objections

By Michael Macagnone (September 22, 2016, 4:09 PM EDT) -- The U.S. House Natural Resources Committee pushed through a bill reforming management of federal land in Utah Thursday despite Democrats' objections the measure would trample tribal rights and allow mineral exploration in protected wilderness.

Republicans who passed the Utah Public Lands Initiative Act Thursday said it crafts compromises with local stakeholders, the area's Navajo and Ute tribes, and federal land preservation interest. The measure allows for the transfer of some federal lands to state authorities, allows state roads to be built on federal land and transfers certain mineral and leasing rights to tribes in the state, according to committee chair Rep....

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