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Obama signs two Utah-related bills

Published July 25, 2014 3:45 pm

Legislation • White House OKs land swap with Utes and fix for Provo water project.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

President Barack Obama signed into law Friday a land exchange between Utah and the Ute tribes, along with a correction to a Provo water deal.

These were two of 14 bills Obama signed, with others naming buildings, creating memorials and swapping lands.

Two weeks ago, the Senate agreed to an exchange of 20,000 acres controlled by Utah to the Hill Creek Extension of the Unitah and Ouray Indian Reservation for the mineral rights to other parcels on the reservation. The deal approved by the Ute Tribe, The Wilderness Society and Utah's political leaders, should protect cultural lands while also generating new oil and gas royalties that will help fund the state's schools.

Obama also signed a separate bill that clarifies a deal in which the Bureau of Reclamation gives the Provo River Water Users Association control of the Provo Reservoir Canal. Since the canal is now enclosed, the federal government doesn't recognize it as a canal. The new law changes it to say the government is transferring the "water conveyance facility historically known as the Provo Reservoir Canal."