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An Analysis of a Transfer of Federal Lands to the State of Utah

University of Utah, Bureau of Economic and Business Research 
Jan Elise Stambro, John C. Downen, Michael T. Hogue, Levi Pace 

Utah State University, Department of Applied Economics 
Paul M. Jakus 

Weber State University, Department of Economics 
Therese C. Grijalva 


Utah H.B. 148 seeks the transfer of title to 31.2 million acres of land currently managed by the federal government to the state of Utah. This accounts for more than 60 percent of the state’s land area, or five times the amount of land the state currently owns and manages. A land transfer of this magnitude would be a major shift in the current economic structure of Utah. In light of this, H.B. 142 was enacted in 2013 to require a study and economic analysis of the proposed land transfer. This study responds to portions of Section 63J-4-606 of that bill. In particular, it provides information about the current uses of land, the economic effects and non-economic benefits of those uses, and the ramifications and impacts to the state assuming the lands are transferred. It also describes the programs and budgets of, and revenues generated by, the federal agencies that now manage the lands identified in H.B. 148. 

Additionally, the research included here describes how public lands contribute to the economic growth of local economies and the quality of life of Utah citizens. Finally, the research team was asked to estimate the potential costs of managing the transferred lands, identify state agencies that could manage portions of those lands, and develop a method to estimate potential revenue streams that could be used to offset the land management costs.

The entire document is 40.5 mb. To download a reduced size version (lower map quality) or individual chapters, click below. 


Land Transfer Analysis Final Report reduced file size (19.8 mb)

Front Matter & Summary  (3 mb)
Chapter 1  (<1 mb)
Chapter 2  (3.3 mb)
Chapter 3  (<1 mb)
Chapter 4  (1.1 mb)
Chapter 5  (<1 mb)
Chapter 6  (<1 mb)
Chapter 7  (3.8 mb)
Chapter 8  (19 mb)
Chapter 9  (1.1 mb)
Chapter 10  (<1 mb)
Chapter 11  (<1 mb)
Chapter 12  (<1 mb)
Chapter 13 (<1 mb)
Appendices (2.7 mb)

Utah State UniversityLogan, UTDecember 1, 2014