Representatives from Senator Mike Lee’s office attended a recent BEAR meeting to speak about the work the senator is doing and to answer questions from local residents.
Robert Axson, Lee’s central Utah director, and Hannah Lockhart, constituent outreach and communication specialist , each took some time to interact with members of the Business Expansion and Retention.
Lockhart explained federal lands and the affect they have on the west. “A vast majority of federal lands is in the west and a lot is in the state of Utah, which can cause some problems,” Lockhart said.
She stated that 66% of Utah land is controlled by the federal government while only 20% is private land, 10% belongs to the state and 4% is tribal land. The outstanding amount of governed land brought about the Public Lands Initiative.
The Public Lands Initiative is an effort to bring resolution to some of the most challenging land disputes in the state of Utah.The initiative is rooted in the belief that conservation and economic development can coexist and make Utah a better place to live, work and visit.
The initiative is spearheaded by Congressman Rob Bishop and heavily supported by Senator Lee.
“There are currently 113 million acres of federal lands open and accessible for oil and gas development. Much of this federal land contains abundant domestic energy resources,” Lee said on the Senate floor in January. “In Utah alone, we have hundreds of acres available for drilling, acres that are currently being held up by bureaucratic delays.”
Also at the meeting, Axson and Lockhart expressed the importance of having every citizen’s voice heard. Axson stressed the importance of contacting Lee’s office with questions, concerns and opinions.
”It’s imperative that we hear from you,” he explained. “The only way you can have a voice in Washington is to express it to us first.”
Those wishing to contact Lee’s office may find multiple ways to do so at https://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact.
There, citizens may fill out a contact form or navigate multiple phone numbers and addresses to communicate with Lee’s office.