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Federal Land Management

UTAH STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION

RESOLUTION NO. 2014-02

A RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING THE OFFICIAL POSITION OF THE UTAH STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION REGARDING FEDERAL LAND MANAGEMENT POLICY

WHEREAS, the Utah State Board of Education (the “State Board”) exercises “general control and supervision” of the public education system pursuant to Article X, Section 3 of the Utah Constitution; and

WHEREAS, upon Utah’s entry to the United States, the federal government granted Utah millions of acres of land in trust explicitly to be used to generate revenues for the public education system and to compensate Utah for the vast acreages of untaxable federal lands which the federal government would retain until sold; and

WHEREAS, the State Board acts as the primary beneficiary representative of the land trusts pursuant to Section 53C-1-103(7) of the Utah Code; and

WHEREAS, a large portion of the lands Utah received are interspersed within the larger federal land base, meaning the uses to which Utah’s public education system may put its trust lands are often dependent upon the federal government and federal land management policies; and

WHEREAS, the School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (“SITLA”) has successfully managed Utah’s trust lands, earning in excess of $1.3 billion over the past 20 years for Utah’s public education system, notwithstanding this challenging environment; and

WHEREAS, the resolution of land use disputes between the state and federal government would result in a significant benefit to the school land trust by removing obstacles to the productive use of trust lands, with the potential to increase several-fold the amount SITLA has earned to date; and

WHEREAS, the State Board is particularly concerned that SITLA and the beneficiaries continue to have access to trust lands so that the trust’s resources may be maximized to benefit current and future generations of Utah school children; and

WHEREAS, Utah’s public lands represent one of the most important means of addressing structural funding imbalances in our public education system;

NOW, THEREFORE,BEIT RESOLVED, that the State Board supports aggressive efforts to resolve land use differences between Utah and the federal government as they have a major negative effect on the productivity of trust lands and, therefore, Utah’s ability to fully fund its public education system;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that while the State Board takes no position on any particular wilderness designation which may come from a conflict resolution process, any wilderness which may be created must make the trust whole for any trust lands caught within the designation, including by providing for the up-front exchange of captured trust lands out of the area, all costs of the exchange, and any other loss of value to the trust associated with the creation of wilderness; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the State Board opposes the creation of large, landscape-scale wilderness areas without fully considering and compensating for the effect such a large designation may have on local economies, including that such areas are often devastating to the property tax base upon which the Utah public education system relies.

PASSED AND APPROVED THIS 5th DAY OF SEPTEMBER, 2014.

Utah State Board of Education Chair

David L. Crandall

ATTEST:

Lorraine Austin Board Secretary

COPIES:

Governor Gary Herbert Members, Utah State Senate

Members, Utah House of Representatives

Kathleen Clarke, Director, Public Lands Policy Coordination Office

Kevin Carter, Director, School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration Sally Jewell, Secretary, United States Department of the Interior

Neil Kornze, Director, Bureau of and Management Local School Board Members

School District Superintendents

View as PDF: USBE Resolution 2014-02 Federal Land Management Policy

Utah State Board of Education
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