SALT LAKE CITY – In a press conference held in the Gold Room of the Utah State Capitol, Reps. Rob Bishop (UT-01) and Jason Chaffetz (UT-03) released a discussion draft of the Utah Public Lands Initiative Act. Utah Governor Gary Herbert participated in the January 20th event. Reps. Bishop and Chaffetz also announced the website UtahPLI.comwhere the public and media may access the PLI discussion draft, maps, and a section-by-section description of the potential legislation. Senator Mike Lee will sponsor the companion legislation in the Senate.
Rep. Rob Bishop offered the following statement: “The release of this draft represents the culmination of years of our effort to listen to people. This is a discussion draft, which provides another opportunity for positive ideas. Our goal has always stayed constant. We will conserve areas worthy of conservation. We will guarantee outdoor recreation for all Utahns. We will enhance economic development to fund Utah schools and create good jobs. We will provide certainty by ending the litigation and mindless debates. That certainty will allow everyone to plan for the future without outside groups imposing their misguided will.”
Rep. Jason Chaffetz said, “PLI will enhance local land management and provide immediate certainty to eastern Utah communities. This locally driven process has allowed stakeholders to come to the table, engage in conversations, and offer solutions that make the land management system work better for eastern Utah. We’ve crafted a needed balance between conservation and economic development and I look forward to moving this bill forward.”
Governor Gary Herbert issued the following statement: “There is no doubt Utah stands to gain directly and immediately under the Public Land Initiative,” Gov. Herbert said. “I am supportive of this inclusive, bottom-up approach that moves us in the right direction. While the initiative is not perfect, as no true compromise is, it finds a way to give the state greater control over the use of Utah lands.”