Chief Sponsor: Casey Snider

Senate Sponsor: Scott D. Sandall


9     General Description:
10          This joint resolution rejects a proposed land exchange of state school and institutional
11     trust lands and mineral interests for federal lands and mineral interests.
12     Highlighted Provisions:
13          This resolution:
14          ▸     rejects the proposed exchange of state school and institutional trust lands and
15     mineral interests in and around the Bears Ears National Monument for United States
16     government lands;
17          ▸     recognizes that the state would better manage and administer the lands in the
18     proposed exchange for the benefit of the state's trust land beneficiaries and economy
19     than the federal government; and
20          ▸     condemns the federal government's planning effort and lack of coordination with
21     the state.
22     Special Clauses:
23          None

25     Be it resolved by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
26          WHEREAS, by presidential proclamation dated October 8, 2021, the President of the
27     United States created the Bears Ears National Monument (Monument), which encompasses

28     approximately 1.2 million acres of federal land and which surrounds, as stranded inholdings,
29     approximately 130,000 acres of scattered school and institutional trust land parcels managed by
30     the School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration for the support of Utah's public
31     schools, public school children, and other beneficiary institutions;
32          WHEREAS, the Governor of the state of Utah and the United States Secretary of the
33     Interior signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding on March 17, 2023, that
34     provides for an exchange of school and institutional trust lands and mineral interests in Iron,
35     Kane, San Juan, Tooele, and Uintah counties for United States government lands in Beaver,
36     Carbon, Duchesne, Emery, Garfield, Grand, Iron, Kane, Millard, Rich, San Juan, Sanpete,
37     Sevier, Tooele, Uintah, Utah, Wasatch, Washington, and Wayne counties;
38          WHEREAS, Utah Code Subsection 63L-2-201(2) requires legislative approval before a
39     governmental entity or state officer may legally bind the state by executing an agreement to sell
40     or transfer to the United States government 500 or more acres of any state lands or school and
41     institutional trust lands;
42          WHEREAS, the Memorandum of Understanding has not been executed and ratified by
43     the United States Congress, and is therefore not legally binding on the state;
44          WHEREAS, the historical practice for federal land management on national
45     monuments has prioritized the multiple uses and sustained yield of the lands, as well as
46     reasonable access to the lands for recreation by local communities, while maintaining the
47     objects of antiquity and of historic or scientific interest consistent with federal law; and
48          WHEREAS, the federal government has signaled that it will adopt an exceptionally
49     restrictive and unreasonable land management plan that would negatively impact the
50     communities surrounding the Monument and the state's public school children, by restricting
51     community access to grazing land, resource development, and recreation:
52          NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Legislature of the state of Utah
53     rejects the land exchange between the state of Utah and the United States government, as
54     proposed by the Memorandum of Understanding.
55          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legislature calls on the federal government to
56     put forth a land management plan in line with historical practice that would benefit all local
57     communities and trust land beneficiaries impacted by the proposed land exchange.
58          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this resolution be sent to the President of

59     the United States of America, the Secretary of the Department of the Interior, and the members
60     of the Utah congressional delegation.