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Press Release

Earth Day Field Hearing Highlights Access Challenges Facing Utah's Public Lands

  • NFPL Subcommittee

In recognition of Earth Day, the Subcommittee on Federal Lands hosted the committee's second outdoor field hearing of the 118th Congress in Utah, centered on public land access issues.

"I am grateful to the Utahns who joined us today for our discussion about public lands. Families have cherished these same lands for generations and from the area surrounding our field hearing, it is clear they have done a wonderful job. Not once have they been asked by the Biden Administration in Washington for their input before making broad sweeping changes to their everyday lives. Our delegation is united in pushing back against this federal overreach and I thank the committee for convening this hearing." - U.S. Rep. John Curtis (R-Utah)

"Today’s field hearing showcased not only how beautiful Utah’s landscapes are but the importance of cooperation between local, state, and federal officials. When that cooperation breaks down, local residents are the ones who suffer, and tax dollars are wasted. I’m proud of the collaborative work Utah stakeholders play in these decisions, and I urge the Biden Administration to be sensible." - U.S. Rep. Blake Moore (R-Utah)

"Federal bureaucracy is broken and not meeting the needs of Utahns. We need to trust local elected officials to make decisions for the people and our natural resources. Today’s House Natural Resources field hearing illustrated that need." - U.S. Rep. Celeste Maloy (R-Utah)


The large footprint of federal land in Southern Utah creates unique challenges for the region. Federal mismanagement of these resources and a lack of federal engagement with local communities has raised housing costs, reduced state and local tax receipts, limited economic opportunities and deprived residents of access to, and the ability to engage in multiple uses of, public lands surrounding their communities.

Even urgently needed local initiatives, such as the long-delayed Northern Corridor in St. George and carefully considered water resource planning in Washington County, have been thwarted by federal land managers, who habitually disregard state and local input.

Compounding these difficulties, Southern Utah has become the epicenter of the larger national debate between conservation and preservation. From unpopular expansions of national monuments to proposed natural asset companies seeking to lock up access to public lands, radical environmental policies threaten the freedoms and traditional outdoor lifestyles that Utahns have long cherished.

House Republicans remain committed to advancing feasible, commonsense solutions that would increase access to public lands and empower local stakeholders to have more say in land use decisions. In the 118th Congress, Republicans developed legislative solutions that would transfer underutilized federal parcels to Utah’s superbly run state parks system, push back against the Biden administration's public lands withdrawals and require congressional oversight for the creation of new national monuments.

To learn more about the hearing and Republican-led efforts to increase land access for all, click here