Utah stands out for its extreme stance against federal lands - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Utah stands out for its extreme stance against federal lands

By NICHOLAS RICCARDI
Associated Press

DENVER (AP) - Utah has long stood out for going far beyond other western states in trying to get back control of its federally protected lands.

Many states in the west occasionally chafe under the thumb of the federal government. But none has been as eager for Washington to reduce protected lands as Utah.

President Donald Trump is expected to shrink two national monuments in the state during a visit Monday.

That's the sort of move anathema to even other conservative western states. But the dynamic is different in Utah because of its geography and history.

It has the second-highest percent of federally owned land in the Lower 48. And it was settled by Mormons fleeing 19th century violence who thought they needed to control the land and its economy to protect themselves.

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