Utah bills challenging federal lands moves to House

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – The federal government would be required to relinquish its ownership of public lands in Utah under a bill moving to the House for debate.Rep. Ken Ivory of West Jordan says House Bill 148 sets a deadline of 2014 for the transfer of federal lands to the state. National parks and designated wilderness areas would be exempted.The bill passed the House Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment Committee 10-1 on Tuesday. Ivory says his goal is to either force the federal government to work with state officials or litigate the issue.Legislative attorneys say in a review note included with the bill that the law has a high probability of being declared unconstitutional.Chief Deputy Attorney General John Swallow says the bills are reasonable and could be defended.

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