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HANSEN IS RIGHT ON STATE LANDS BILL

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Congressman Jim Hansen has proposed legislation that would give states the choice to assume ownership of the Bureau of Land Management lands within their borders. Some people have objected on the grounds that the state of Utah does not know how to manage land and that we cannot afford to lose the talent and knowledge of the federal agency staffs.

These views are shortsighted and misinformed. The state of Utah does a good job in managing its existing lands. It can do the same for the BLM lands. In reality, the state of Utah can do no worse than the federal government.As for the expertise and data resources of the BLM, these are not going to be gone just because the land changes ownership. All the data, the existing plans, and employees of the federal agency, can and will be available to the state when it takes ownership.

Taking ownership of the lands within the state is essential if Utah is ever going to be a true state as was intended by the Constitution of the United States in-stead of a mere colony dominated by "kingly" powers of big government back East.

There simply is no constitutional provision among the federal governments enumerated powers for the federal government to continue to govern the lands of the West. We either care about and abide by the Constitution or we don't. Congressman Hansen is right in trying to restore sovereignty to the state. Any governor of Utah should openly and aggressively support him in this effort or answer to the voters.

Gail Johnson

Monticello