Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) issued the following statement in response to President Donald Trump signing the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which includes a land transfer provision:
“By securing this 88-acre land transfer, President Trump and the committee have ensured that vital military research will carry on at Utah State University. The university has been a strong innovative partner, and I know this land will continue to further goals of research and military support,” said Bishop.
“For over half a century, Utah State University and Space Dynamics Laboratory have conducted critical research for the Department of Defense and NASA on this parcel of land just outside of the Wasatch-Cache National Forest. Chairman Bishop has championed the transfer of this parcel to ensure Utah State University’s uninterrupted use of the land in perpetuity to assure important scientific research and educational use continues at this site. We are very appreciative of the Chairman’s leadership in advancing this important institutional priority.” – Niel Holt, Director of the Space Dynamics Laboratory
Without congressional action, the U.S. Forest Service lacked authority to sell or transfer 80 acres of property within the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest solely to the Utah State University Research Foundation (USURF). USURF has used this parcel of land since the early 1960s, and Bishop’s provision allows the land transfer to take place, thereby facilitating continued use of the property for scientific research in direct support of ongoing U.S. military research contracts.