State representatives, BLM address legislative committee

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) - The discussion over control of public lands in Utah continued Wednesday on Capitol Hill.

Wednesday morning representatives from the state, counties and the Bureau of Land Management addressed a legislative committee.

The governor and other leaders say the state is a better steward of our public lands than the federal government.

That’s why they are working on land swaps with the feds to balance development and preservation.

"We think that is a great way to go, at the same time we're looking at our other options. We're looking at potential litigation down the road,” said Lt. Governor Spencer Cox.

"Really what I'm hearing is that if Utah had all these lands they could get highest return on investment. While that may be true, we the BLM manage them for more than that. We manage them for a balancing of recreation, of the scenic, of the resources that we have,” said Juan Palma, BLM, Utah Director.

The state supports a public lands exchange initiative by Congressman Rob Bishop.

The legislation could be ready to present at the first of next year.

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