Republicans in the Legislature have proposed numerous bills to wrest away control of millions of federal acres. While the bills would likely draw protracted court battles, supporters believe it could bring billions of dollars to the state.
"I really don't care what it is, pass it," Bishop said of such efforts. "All I need is one arrow to get over the wall and hit its mark and we are OK. So as many as you shoot, fine."
He showed maps of how little private land exists in Utah, compared to several Eastern states. He said many Easterners say that is interesting, but do not understand that it means Utah is limited on how it can use or tax lands to raise money for schools.
He said those message bills may drive home the issue's importance. "We are on verge of new paradigm shift," he said.
Bishop added that many in the East think public-land issues involve only national parks "with a pretty tree by a lake" and do not understand it also includes vast rangelands where oil, gas and other resources are often tied up unnecessarily by federal rules.