Public Lands

Public Lands

Public Lands, Agriculture, and Recreation Choices

HOW DO WE MAKE SPACE FOR A GROWING POPULATION?

Utah is a spectacular place, known the world over for the beauty of our public lands. From deserts to alpine mountaintops and BLM lands to our national parks, there’s a lot in Utah to love. Our lands are used for recreation, habitat, grazing, energy resources, and other purposes. As our population grows, we’ll need to decide how we will balance all these uses.

  • Utah has a lot of public land. Over 70% of the state is public land.
  • There are many uses and demands for these public lands.
  • Even with the population doubling, with proper management techniques there should be room for all uses.
  • In order to make room for all these uses, multi-use of our public lands must take place.

BIG DECISIONS AHEAD 

As we add another 2.5 million people by 2050, we risk overcrowding or blocking access to recreational areas, harming wildlife, and damaging the watersheds that supply our drinking water. At the same time, rural areas rely on public lands for their economic livelihoods, with grazing, mining, energy extraction, and outdoor recreation providing needed jobs.  We must decide how to balance all these interests. 

  • From desert plains to alpine mountaintops, how do we protect natural diversity?
  • How do we ensure our residents always have places to play and recharge?
  • How do we protect the livelihood of those who depend on public lands for employment?
  • Can we balance all of the demands on our public lands? 

Did You Know?

The State of Utah has a total of 54.3 million acres:

  • BLM- approximately 42% of total
  • Forest Service- approximately 15% of total
  • SITLA- approximately 9% of total
  • Wilderness Areas- approximately 1.4% of total
  • Wilderness Study Areas- approximately 6% of total
  • Grazing Acres- approximately 41% of total
  • National Park- approximately 4% of total
  • State Parks- approximately .2% of total
  • National Recreation Areas- approximately 2.7% of total
  • Tribal Lands- approximately 4.5% of total
  • Oil and Gas Leases from the BLM- approximately 8% of total