President Signs Hill Creek Cultural Preservation and Energy Development Act into Law
WASHINGTON— Today, President Barack Obama signed the Hill Creek Cultural Preservation and Energy Development Act [H.R. 356/ S. 27] into law. This legislation was authored by Congressman Rob Bishop (UT-01) and Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT).
The bill specifically facilitates the exchange of approximately 20,000 acres of state-held mineral rights within the Hill Creek Extension of the Ute Indian Reservation for mineral rights on approximately 20,000 acres of land located within the northern portion of the reservation. This new law protects cultural lands in the southern part of the reservation and provides new opportunities for energy development elsewhere.
“This legislative effort is an example of the successes that are possible through collaboration. So much uncertainty exists with the way areas of our public lands are managed and used. Here we were able to take interests of different entities, the Ute Tribe and the State of Utah, and reach an agreement about an equitable exchange that protects sensitive cultural lands while also providing opportunities to generate revenue for public education. This bill is an important part of our ongoing efforts to successfully address the decades old challenges that have prevented us from reaching agreements about land use, management, and conservation. It is my hope that this is among many future successes on this front,” said congressman Bishop.
Congressman Jim Matheson (UT-04), Congressman Jason Chaffetz (UT-03), Congressman Chris Stewart (UT-02), and Senator Mike Lee (Utah) are original co-sponsors of the legislation.