U.S. House Committee Passes Utah Public Lands Initiative

By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff

The U.S. House Natural Resources Committee passed a bill that would finalize land-use designations covering more than 18 million acres of land in seven eastern and southern Utah counties. The Utah Public Lands Initiative (PLI) [HR 5780] creates motorized recreation zones in San Juan and Grand Counties encompassing more than 375,000 acres, along with a 93-mile red rock OHV trail connecting towns in Emery, Grand and San Juan Counties. 

SEMA supports the PLI’s collaborative approach to making final designations in order to provide certainty regarding how land is managed, including wilderness, conservation and recreation areas. Without the legislation, 1.4 million acres of land may soon be designated as the Bears Ears National Monument. Such a listing would prohibit new roads or trails and require drafting of a new land-management plan that could lead to more road closures. The legislation will likely be scheduled for a vote by the House of Representatives after the November election. The bill has not yet been introduced in the U.S. Senate. 

For more information, contact Eric Snyder at