— The U.S. Senate today passed the Hill Creek Cultural Preservation and Energy Development Act
[H.R. 356/ S. 27
] originally introduced by Congressman Rob Bishop (UT-01) and Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT). The legislation 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 exchange will ensure that cultural lands in the southern part of the reservation will be protected in perpetuity while, at the same time, providing new opportunities for energy development elsewhere. The legislation already passed in the U.S. House of Representatives on May 13, 2013 and will now head to the President's desk to be signed into law.
"I am pleased that we are finally able to get this long-sought exchange to the President's desk. Today, that's not such an easy endeavor. This bill importantly takes into account the interests of both the Ute tribe and the State of Utah. It offers necessary protection to sensitive cultural lands while providing new opportunities to generate revenue for Utah's public education," 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.
Rep. Bishop's Hill Creek Bill Passes House
Hatch and Bishop Introduce Legislation to Convey Federal Land to the State of Utah