As protesters on ATVs illegally entered a disputed canyon near Blanding, Utah over the weekend, Rep. Jason Chaffetz says the already bad relationship between local governments and the feds is getting worse.
[Chaffetz] mentioned that federal Homeland Security officials recently drove an armored tank in a local parade: “People were outraged. The way most see it, they just came in flexing their muscles, showing they had all this armor. The federals need a little more Andy Griffith and a lot less Rambo.”
So Utah, he says, is fighting back.
In rural Kane County, local officials have torn down signs on BLM land and told local bureau managers that they do not recognize U.S. government authority over public land there. Ranchers in the state’s western reaches — supported by local and state officials — have threatened to round up wild horses even though it’s against federal law, saying the herds are crowding out grazing cattle.
Last summer the state Legislature authorized a $3-million fund so there would be ready cash to sue the federal government regarding federal land mandates. It also approved $500,000 to fund a study looking at how the state might wrest control of 30 million acres of public land within Utah.