Home » News
Home » News

Letter: Trade trust lands to benefit Utah schools

Published May 16, 2017 6:00 am
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2017, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

An article in The Tribune paraphrases the views of a San Juan County rancher claiming "he and other monument critics fear restrictions ... will thwart economic development, impede public access and undermine local schools by disrupting possible revenue sources." As a public school parent and arts educator in Salt Lake City, I can't speak to some of his concerns, but I can speak to assumptions about schools.

All of Utah's public schools receive an annual allotment from the School Land Trust fund. While trust lands are spread throughout Utah, those captured within Bears Ears National Monument are not usable (or profitable). The same was true of school trust lands captured in Grand Staircase-Escalante in the late '90s. During that controversial designation, Utah leadership pursued a trust lands exchange which allowed investment and development on suitable land with over $300 million dollars in returns. The investments from that exchange are the single largest contributor to the current trust lands fund from which all public schools benefit.

Even if Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke advocates a reduction or reversal of Bears Ears, we all know a legal battle would be ahead. In the interim, lands should be traded to get the most for Utah's public school children.

Ashley Anderson

Salt Lake City




Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
comments powered by Disqus