Signed land swap agreement with Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt - announced winners of the 1998 Governor's Medals for Science and Technology ... Leavitt Update
(Note: It requires a careful and attentive read to see the Trojan Horse that crashed the Utah school gates.)
April 25 - May 8, 1998

Utah Schools and Federal Land Exchange

May 8, 1998

Contact the Utah Governor's Office:

On May 8, 1998 Governor Mike Leavitt and Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt unveiled a historic land swap between the state and the federal government. The agreement includes a $50million cash payment for the school children of Utah, plus additional land, coal and other mineral resources. The epic agreement also ensures protection for critical land in national parks, forests, Indian reservations and the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. The agreement will implement the largest public land exchange identified anywhere in the continental United States.

The agreement is the culmination of weeks of delicate negotiations after decades of disagreement. It benefits both parties, who have struggled for decades over issues of land ownership patterns, energy development and environmental protection.


The Federal Government Receives:

All state inholdings in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument: 176,699 acres

All state land inholdings in Utah's National Parks/National Recreation Areas: 80,000 acres (Arches National Park, Capitol Reef National Park, Dinosaur National Monument, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area)

All state inholdings in the Navajo and Goshute Indian Reservations: 47,480 acres

Nearly all state inholdings within the National Forests: 70,000 acres (Wasatch-Cache National Forest, Sawtooth National Forest, Ashley National Forest, Caribou National Forest, Uinta National Forest, Manti-La Sal National Forest, Fishlake National Forest, Dixie National Forest, Desert Range Experimental Station)

Alton Coal Field Tracts Previously Designated Unsuitable for Mining: 2,560 acres

Total Surface Acreage to be Received by the Federal Government: 376,739 acres

Additional Mineral-Rights-Only Acreage: 65,852 acres

The State of Utah Receives:


  • $50,000,000 in cash upon completion
  • $13,000,000 additional to be generated from the sale of unleased coal, for the benefit of the Utah Permanent School Fund
  • More than 160 million tons of coal
  • 185 billion cubic feet of coal bed methane resources
  • Approximately 139,000 acres of land and minerals in nine counties
  • Other minerals including limestone, tar sands, and oil and gas.



  • $50,000,0000 payable to the Utah Permanent School Fund immediately following enactment of legislation

Coal Sales:

  • $13,000,000 additional to be generated by the sale of unleased coal in the Cottonwood Tract in Emery County

Coal Resources:

  • 22.3 million tons of mineable coal in the Mill Fork Tract in Emery County: 5,000 acres
  • 4 million tons of mineable coal from the West Ridge coal tract in Carbon County: 881 acres
  • 100 million tons of mineable coal from the North Horn Tract in Emery County: 9,600 acres
  • 34 million tons of mineable coal in the Muddy Creek Tract and in the Dugout Canyon Tract in Carbon and Emery Counties: 5,120 acres

Coal Bed

  • Methane Resources: 185 billion cubic feet of coal bed methane resources from the Ferron Field in Carbon and Emery counties: 58,000 acres
  • OtherMinerals: Limestone deposits in Millard County: 2,000 acres
  • Oil and gas properties in Duchesne County: 4,000 acres
  • Tar Sands in Uintah County: 2,600 acres

Commercial Properties:

  • Blue Mountain Telecommunication Site in Uintah County: 640 acres
  • Land in and around Beaver Mountain Ski Resort: 3,000 acres

Potential Development Properties:

  • Warner Valley Tract in Washington County: 1,920 acres
  • Big Water near Glen Canyon: 33,208 acres
  • Hatch Parcel in Garfield County:12,678 acres
  • Total Land and Minerals:138,647 acres


Diversified Portfolio for School Trust Lands:

  • $50 million in cash now an endowment for the benefit of education in Utah.
  • $13 million additional to be generated by the sale of unleased coal for the benefit of the Utah Permanent School Fund.
  • Approximately 139,000 acres of land and minerals throughout the state with potential for mineral and commercial development, including a ski resort and development lands near St. George.
  • Coal some of the best in the state not yet developed this coal can be developed over the next 5 to 35 years ensuring continued revenue for the long term.
  • Coalbed methane resources, a relatively new resource of growing interest and value.
  • Oil and gas, tar sands, limestone and other minerals.

Resolves Long Standing Disputes:

  • The state trust lands lawsuits will be dropped.
  • Millions of dollars will be saved in continuing legal costs, mediation, and appraisals.
  • Fulfills the President's promises at the time of the creation of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

Environmental Protection and Concerns:

  • The American public is assured that over 257,000 acres of land that are now state inholdings in some of America's greatest treasures such as Arches National Park, Capitol Reef National Park, the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Dinosaur National Monument and the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument will be entirely managed for park and monument purposes.
  • An additional 70,000 acres of state inholdings in Utah's National Forests will now be managed the same as other National Forest lands.
  • The transfer will avoid many potential conflicts on these lands because of the Trust Lands Administration's mission to produce economic benefits for Utah's school children.
  • The public will be assured that they will have access to these lands for recreational purposes.
  • The lands selected to be transferred to the state were chosen with a great deal of sensitivity to environmental concerns, and no lands were included which would be surface mined, or which are habitat for endangered species, areas of critical environmental concern, or potential wilderness.
  • The lands Utah selects will still be fully subject to all environmental regulations applicable to resource development.

More Efficient Management of Lands:

  • Federal and State land managers can improve management with consolidated lands, rather than having isolated blocks or islands in the middle.

Benefits Utah's Native Americans:

  • Over 45,000 acres of land will be turned over to the Navajo and Goshute Indian Reservations to be managed as contiguous blocks for tribal use.

Existing Stakeholders and Users are Protected

  • There is no loss of revenue to local governments from mineral lease revenues.
  • There is no loss of revenues to either side no federal budget impacts.
  • Agreement protects valid existing rights and permittees. Ranchers with grazing leases are also protected.

Fair and Equitable Exchange

  • The exchange is of approximately equal value.
  • No individuals or corporations get rich  only the public benefits on both sides.

Economic Development

  • State Trust Land will aggressively pursue development on lands obtained, creating accelerated jobs and income for Utahns.