With the recent advent of the "Republican revolution," there is a lot of discussion as to what can be done to shrink the size and power of the federal government and give more power to the state and local governments that are more directly responsive to demands of the local people.
One way to yank power from the federal government and give more power to the state governments is to get rid of most of the federal agencies that regulate federal lands and turn these lands over to the states. We could start by eradicating the Federal Bureau of Land Management. Here in Utah, more than 40 percent of the land within our state boundaries is owned and regulated by the federal government.Think of all the jobs we could create if the state government were able to privatize much of this land, and billions of tons of natural resources such as coal, iron ore and silicon could be harvested by our state workers. Think of the recreational possibilities that private industry and state and local governments could create if they could put all of that land to its best and highest use.
And of course, think of the huge tax base we could create for the state of Utah if all that land could be used by the people and industries of our state instead of the federal government. Our state could afford all the highway projects, mass transit systems, educational needs and welfare reform we need. And all those tax dollars would be going to Salt Lake City, where our state government could use it.
And to those who fear that such measures would destroy or greatly damage our state treasures of wildlife and wilderness, don't you worry. There are plenty of people here in Utah who fish, hunt, ski, hike, bike, camp and boat who also vote. Ignoring these interest would likely not be healthy for the career of most Utah state legislators.
Salt Lake City