Legislators gave final approval Thursday to a bill outlining how Utah would manage 31 million acres of federal public lands if the state were able to gain control of it.
The Senate voted 23-4 to pass HB276, and the House later concurred with Senate amendments. The bill now goes to Gov. Gary Herbert for his possible signature.
Its sponsor, Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab, earlier said it would provide a framework for state priorities for managing that land, and define what agencies would oversee it. Legislators this year set aside $4.5 million toward a possible $14 million on a lawsuit to seek control of most federal lands in the state, which they contend Utah was promised at statehood.