Utah needs to move beyond 10th Amendment saber-rattling

As I returned home to Blanding, Utah for my father’s funeral, I passed over the Recapture Dam and looked to the south. Almost 30 years ago, my father and I spent a few summers moving cattle up and down that canyon.  While you would occasionally see a piece of Anasazi pottery, that was always a sideshow.  We needed the canyon to graze our cattle as we moved them to the summer pasture on the Blue Mountain. I wonder if in today’s environment, we would be accused of breaking the law.…

Federal Management Failed – State Asked to Step In

On May 14, 2014 in Salt Lake City Representative Ken Ivory, and Speaker of the House Becky Lockhart had a debate with Bureau of Land Management Director Pat Shea and University of Utah professor Dan McCool concerning who should manage our lands in Utah the state or the federal government. The evening began with a poll of attendees with a 60/40 split against the statement, meaning that 60% favored federal management of public lands, no surprise in given the downtown Salt Lake City location for the debate. By the end…

Enabling Act Silliness

Politics has its silly season. But litigation provides for perpetual silliness, as litigants (and their lawyers) continuously grasp at straws to justify outcomes.  I’m even tempted to say I’ve seen more ridiculous arguments practicing law than I’ve seen on Facebook . . . but that might be pushing things a bit far. Regardless, I can say that I’ve been on the grasping side enough times to know when someone has entered the silly zone — and, I hate to break it to you, fellow conservatives: on the idea of a grand public…

Public Lands: Who Should Manage Them?

Last night I went to an Oxford style debate  on the statement “The state of Utah is best suited to manage public lands within its borders.” The question asked whether management should be by Utah or the Federal Government. On one side were Speaker of the House Becky Lockhart and Representative Ken Ivory for Utah controlling those lands and on the other side, former Bureau of Land Management Director Pat Shea and University of Utah professor Dan McCool. A big crowd of close to three hundred people showed up. The evening began with a poll of…