July 30, 1998
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON, D.C. ---- FALEOMAVAEGA TO REVIEW 630,000 ACRES
OF FEDERAL LAND IN UTAH
Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that he is traveling to the southern part of the State of Utah to view an area known as the San Rafael Swell, which is a geologically significant uprising of land with approximate dimensions 30 miles by 20 miles. The land is being considered for special federal protection.
"The House Subcommittee on National Parks and Public Lands recently passed legislation which will designate 630,000 acres of land in the San Rafael Swell area as national heritage and national conservation areas. It is generally agreed that the land in this area is of national significance, but there is disagreement as to how much land should be protected and the exact status the land should receive," said Faleomavaega.
"As the senior democrat on the Subcommittee, I have taken an active role in working with legislators from both sides of the aisle in trying to find compromises acceptable to the different groups with interest in the issues before the Subcommittee," continued the Congressman. "The appropriate designation of the public lands in Utah has been very controversial over the years, and although much legislation has been introduced, very little has become public law."
"With 65-75% of the land in the State of Utah being owned by the federal government, I feel it is important for me to see the area first-hand to gain a better understanding of the many factors to be considered, including environmental problems, requests for private development, and overuse of certain critical areas," noted Faleomavaega.
"There is also a large Polynesian population in Utah, so the issue is important in that regard also. It is my goal to seek a compromise which all sides can accept. Legislation addressing public lands state-wide has not succeeded, but I hope we in Congress can find agreement in certain areas and move forward on those. The San Rafael Swell legislation is expected to come before the Committee on Resources in the near future," concluded Faleomavaega.