Editorial: Rare bipartisan effort for land swap with Ute Tribe

"It’s so seldom these days that Democratic and Republican members of Congress, environmentalists, and state and federal land managers agree on anything, so that when it happens the phenomenon demands attention.

And that seems to be the case with legislation being proposed by U.S. Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah. His bill would allow a swap of mineral rights held by the Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration on Ute tribal lands for mineral rights on federal lands elsewhere.

Matheson’s bipartisan bill would give the Bureau of Land Management authority to finalize the deal, first proposed seven years ago, to preserve 20,000 acres of sacred tribal cultural lands in northern Grand County within the Hill Creek Extension of the Ute Reservation. It gives the state school trust fund managers the right to develop potentially lucrative oil and gas deposits beneath the surface of federal lands now managed by the BLM."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Ute land swap (The Salt Lake Tribune 2/23)

Committee Notice:
Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs Legislative Hearing on H.R. 4027 and H.R. 4194 (March 20, 2012)

Related Stories:
House subcommittee holds hearing for Ute Tribe land swap (3/21)

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