Finally, a use of eminent domain I actually might approve of: story link.
"In Utah, a move to seize federal land
Long frustrated by Washington's control over much of their state, Utah legislators are proposing a novel way to deal with federal land -- seize it and develop it.The Utah House of
Representatives last week passed a bill allowing the state to use eminent domain to take land the federal government owns and has long protected from development. The state wants to develop three hotly contested areas -- national forest land in the Wasatch Mountains north of Salt Lake City, land in a proposed wilderness area in the red rock southwestern corner of the state, and a stretch of desert outside of Arches National Park that the Obama administration has declared off-limits to oil and gas development.
Supporters argue that provisions in the legislation that granted Utah statehood allow it to make such a land grab. They also hope to spark a showdown in the Supreme Court that would rearrange the balance of power between states and the federal government.
Some legal experts say the effort is unlikely to succeed, but Republican state Rep. Chris Herrod, one of the authors of the bill, said the state had little choice."I love America, and I'm a peaceful guy," Herrod said, "but the only real option we have is rebellion, which I don't believe in, and the courts."
The eminent domain proposal is among the most audacious yet in a state accustomed to heated battles over the two-thirds of its land owned by the federal government. This is the state, after all, where local officials bulldozed their own roads through Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, tore down signs barring off-roading in Canyonlands National Park and, with funding from the statehouse, spent years unsuccessfully defending those actions in federal court."
The L.A. Times story strikes just the sort of tone one expects from a green-leaning reporter who parachutes in from the coast, to wonder at the yahoos in "Fly-Over Country." But I'm rooting for the yahoos on this one.