Lee introduces Act limiting federal authority in public land designations

Sen. Mike Lee | File photo, St. George News

WASHINGTON — On April 26, 2012, Sen. Mike Lee introduced the “Federal Land Designation Requirements Act” which would limit the federal government’s power to make a variety of land designations without the approval of the applicable state legislature.

Among those designations subject to state approval would be units of the National Forest System, National Park System, National Wildlife Refuge System, National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, National Trails System, National Wilderness Preservation System, or any other system established by Federal law, or any national conservation or national recreation area without approval of the applicable State legislature. 

“Federal and state authority must be balanced if we are to have successful land use policies,” Lee said. “Too often, the federal government ignores the people’s rights to determine for themselves how best to utilize their own land. States with smaller populations, like Utah, end up with only a limited voice in Congress.  The process should include greater protections for states and local communities against unwanted and often economically damaging decisions.

“Requiring the federal government and state governments to agree on proper land designation balances the interests of all involved without interfering with the protection of areas that truly deserve protection.”

lThe bill is currently cosponsored by Sens. John Barasso, R-Wyo., Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Lisa Murkowski, R-Aaska, and Rand Paul R-Ky.

According to the Thomas Library of Congress bill status summary website, the Bill was read twice and referred to the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

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Copyright 2012 St. George News. 

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