Thursday, August 2, 2012

Outdoor Rec Industry Lashes Out Again or Still Against Utah

Do we need to back off on Utah Lands?
Under the US Constitution, Art. 1, Sec. 8, Clause 17, and the 10th amendment, the Federal Government can not exercise exclusive jurisdiction or own land in Utah, unless it is for Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings, and it was purchased by the Consent of the Utah Legislature.

When Utah became a state, the Federal Government committed to selling the unappropriated public lands, extinguishing the title, and providing 5% of the proceeds of the sales to the State School Trust Fund.

I believe it would be better to have the land transferred to Utah as opposed to requiring the Federal Government sell the land to developers or other countries like China.

The Utah State Constitution is designed to protect the Public Land based on Article XVIII, Section 1, Forests to be preserved, and Article XX, Section 1, Land grants accepted on terms of trust. If the Federal Government sells or transfers any public land to Utah or others, 5% of the proceeds of the sales should got to the School Trust Fund. There is a gaping loophole in that process which should be fixed.

Question: Where does this come from? "When Utah became a state, the Federal Government committed to selling the unappropriated public lands, extinguishing the title, and providing 5% of the proceeds of the sales to the State School Trust Fund."

Answer: The Utah Constitution and the Utah Enabling Act. I believe it is pretty clear. Obviously some others don't, but look at what the feds did with the same language in the enabling act for states further east. They sold the lands, and extinguished the title. Utah didn't have the water and they eventually stopped the homestead act and then FLIPMA violated the agreement from the feds side.

I would rather Utah keep the land, most as multi-use than the Feds sell the land to China. And yes, a year ago many were pushing to make the Feds sell the land. I actively pushed back. The bill that the Gov. signed doesn't make the Feds sell the land to anyone, but recognize the Enabling Act and the US Constitution.

Utah Enabling Act:
SEC. 9. That five per centum of the proceeds of the sales of public lands lying within said State, which shall [SHALL} be sold by the United States subsequent to the admission of said State into the Union, after deducting all the expenses incident to the same, shall be paid to the said State, to be used as a permanent fund, the interest of which only shall be expended for the support of the common schools within said State.

Under Sec. 2
"unappropriated public lands"
" and that until the title thereto shall have been extinguished by the United States"

I believe the US was to sell the land and create a clear title. The US Supreme court in recent case involving Hawaii all agreed that was why the Feds had the land at statehood, to create a clear title, a transition. 

The US didn't sell the land in Utah, not all of it. Whether greed or water, it didn't happen. When Kleppe v. New Mexico overturned any states rights for land in 1976, Congress figured they could get away with anything. 1976 was when FLIPMA was signed, which officially put the US in violation of the Enabling Act. That is the point when Utah had claim for the land. You can argue that the US didn't have the US Constitutional power to create the agreement in the enabling act, since the US can't be owning large chunks of a state, under the US constitution. 

So you have 2 choices, force the US to sell to who knows, developers or China, or have the US recognize that they were only to hold the land in trust and transfer the land to Utah. I have fought against forcing the Feds to sell the land at this point for over a year. I won that fight. The bill that passed was not what was promoted by the sponsor last August.

Do we need a County Hotel to keep them?
A new County Hotel is being looked at even though it could cause the Grand America and others to go under. I have read the reports sent to the Convention Center about the proposed County Hotel. It was pretty obvious that this connection doesn't work and that the hotels as a whole think the County is competing with them instead of working with them.

I would like to see the Salt Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau work with the existing hotel owners instead of trying to compete with them. They almost ignore both the Little America and Grand America Hotel and that you can ride TRAX free from the north convention center exit to those hotels.

The hotels near the Salt Palace Convention Center should be able to market their individual hotel and the fact that they have all the convention and meeting room space that someone could want with the convention center. The convention center should be able to market with the surrounding hotels to utilize their meeting rooms and convention space if more space is needed.

For some interesting reading, see:

5th of Sept. debate.