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A recent Salt Lake Tribune story about a private company buying state land — then gating off a county road intersecting the property — should raise alarms about the Utah Legislature's efforts to gain control over federally managed public acres.

The story noted that Lyman Family Farm LLC acquired a 391-acre parcel in San Juan County from the Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA), which sold the property at an auction last October.

The now-blocked-off parcel traditionally has been used by the public to access scenic areas, including the recently designated Bears Ears National Monument.

Here's the disturbing trend: Since Lyman Family Farm was established in 2014, it has spent $6.4 million to acquire 19 parcels from SITLA, totaling 5,214 acres and often bordering sensitive protected turf, including Zion National Park.

The executive of Lyman Family Farm, Joe Hunt, has roots in San Juan County, a center of the protest movement against federal protections of public lands in rural Utah.

Lyman Family Farm is not to be confused with Lyman Farms, an agricultural-based family trust established in the 1800s that has received more than $1 million through the years in federal farm subsidies. Descended from Mormon settlers, the Lymans are a prominent family in San Juan County. They include County Commissioner Phil Lyman, who was convicted of illegally arranging a protest ride of motorized vehicles in a closed, protected area. Phil Lyman has told me he has no direct involvement in Lyman Farms.

The vice president of Lyman Family Farm, the entity that has bought all those parcels and closed the section of the county road near Bears Ears, is Sara Lyman Hunt, according to the incorporation papers.

The protesters of Bureau of Land Management policies have received strong support from Utah's conservative congressional delegation, including Rep. Rob Bishop, who put in his Public Lands Initiative a provision granting San Juan County a right of way to the area Phil Lyman was convicted of violating.

Another supporter of Phil Lyman and a prominent foe of federal policies is Rep. Mike Noel, who tried to commit taxpayer money for a defense fund for the county commissioner. The Kanab Republican has been mentioned as a possible nominee to head the BLM in the new Donald Trump administration.

Noel, a former BLM employee, also has been a past beneficiary of federal farm subsidies, receiving about $200,000 over a 10-year period.

Boo bird • Speaking of Bishop, the Tucson, Ariz.-based Center for Biological Diversity has given the Utah Republican its annual "Rubber Dodo Award," bestowed on the person or group it deems as most aggressive in seeking to destroy America's natural heritage or its endangered species.

"Rob Bishop has fanatically pursued an extremist agenda to give away America's public lands and kill off its endangered species," said KierĂ¡n Suckling, the center's executive director.

Bishop heads the House Natural Resources Committee and has fought against regulations that protect sensitive public lands and endangered species.

The award is named after the flightless bird discovered by Dutch sailors in the late 16th century on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius. After about a century of contact with humans, the species died off.

Utah punch line • The Utah Legislature should start charging late-night comedy shows a commission for the material it provides.

The latest contribution is the proposal by Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, that would allow folks to sue pornographers for the harm porn does to those who view it.

Stephen Colbert of CBS' "Late Show" spent about two minutes mocking the bill. He included a clip of a fake ad that parodies personal injury attorneys seeking business from porn victims.

A few years ago, when Colbert had a show on Comedy Central, he poked fun at a bill by former Rep. Curt Oda, R-Clearfield, that would allow the mass killing of feral cats.

Comics also had a good time with former Sen. Chris Buttars, R-West Jordan, for his proposal to do away with 12th grade, and with Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clearfield, for his idea, which passed the Legislature, to bring back the firing squad.