Keeping it Public: Utah Wildlands

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Keeping it Public: Utah Wildlands
Take action

Mason Cummings, TWS

Keeping Utah public lands in public hands

A radical movement seeks to take public lands in Utah and hand them over to the state government. This would likely lead these lands to be sold off to oil, mining, logging and other development interests, locking the American people out.

Our research has found that since Utah gained statehood in 1896, the state has liquidated more than half of the public lands originally granted to it by the federal government, including major archaeological sites and wildlife habitat. This has helped make Utah ground zero of a national "public land takeover" movement. We work to counter any efforts to transfer or sell off Utah public lands.

Why these places matter

Utah public lands include everything from the iconic landscapes of Zion National Park to priceless archaeological sites in Bears Ears National Monument. Only the protection of federal agencies ensures such lands are truly public and that they’re managed for conservation and public access rather than development.

Outdoor recreation and access
Land sold off by Utah has included lands prized for rock-climbing, hiking and fishing.
$12 billion in consumer spending
Billions of dollars are generated annually by outdoor recreation in Utah.
Key wildlife habitat
Utah has leased lands that support mule deer and elk herds and cutthroat trout populations.

What we're doing

  1. Fighting against “takeover” attempts

    We oppose policies that would transfer national parks, forests and other public lands to the state of Utah and lead them to be sold off to private or commercial entities.

  2. Advocating for new protections

    Beyond playing defense, we advocate for legislation that gives protected status to Utah public lands and ensures they are managed with conservation and outdoor recreation in mind.

  3. Researching the risks

    We conduct research that underscores the dangers of allowing Utah’s public lands to fall to state governmental control and share it with partners and lawmakers to help make the case against the land takeover movement.

What you can do
Sign our petition asking for a federal rule officially barring public land takeovers.
Sign now