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S.L. AREA CHAMBER SUPPORTS PLAN TO SWAP 200,000 FEDERAL ACRES FOR SCHOOL TRUST LANDS

The board of governors of the Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce has adopted a resolution supporting a bill that would allow the federal government to exchange 200,000 acres of federal land for a like amount of school trust lands located inside national parks and monuments and Indian reservations.

The resolution came following a presentation by members of the State Inholdings Committee organized by Gov. Norm Bangerter to pursue the transfer so Utah could get more money for public school support.Committee members said Congress is contemplating a bill that would permit the exchange and they want to push it through before adjournment in three weeks.

According to information distributed during the meeting, the state wants to exchange 200,000 acres of school trust lands located in national parks, monuments and forests and portions of the Navajo and Goshute Indian reservations for federally owned land elsewhere.

They include a telecommunications site, a ski resort and nearby lands and various leased and unleased coal reserves. Committee members believe the value of the trust lands varies between $50 million and $200 million. If the exchange can be completed, it would eliminate the need for a long and costly lawsuit, committee members said.