A new poll released today by the Western Values Project underscores the divisiveness of a proposed lawsuit against the federal government that is meant to force the transfer of national public lands to states.
The survey, conducted by Public Policy Polling, showed that 48% of Utah voters are opposed to the suit, even before receiving more information on its potential impacts. After learning more about the impacts of the suit to the state budget, public access, and its favoritism to special interest, 61% of voters oppose the suit. Results of WVP Utah survey on public lands are available at this link.
An analysis by the Center for Western Priorities, shows that the Utah legislature could have allocated these funds in any number of ways that would have benefitted thousands of Utahans in need. To give just a few examples, the $14 million could have paid for:
· Education for 2,136 students
· Salaries for 423 new teachers
· Salaries for 357 firefighters
· Salaries for 301 police officers
Experts have roundly criticized the suit as unlikely to succeed, and observed that transferring national public lands to states would bring with it costs that would force states to sell off the land — a move that could shut the public out of access to hunting, camping, and fishing.