Executive Document

Governor's Executive Order Creating the Utah Open Lands Committee.

Issued: May 24, 1996


Creating the Utah Open Lands Committee

I, Michael O. Leavitt, Governor of the State of Utah, by virtue of the power vested in me by the constitution and laws of the State of Utah, do hereby promulgate the following Executive Order, effective immediately:

I. There is created the Utah Open Lands Committee.

II. Purpose

The purpose of the Committee is to be the catalyst for locally initiated efforts to conserve open lands in the rapidly urbanizing areas of the State of Utah. The Committee will encourage local communities to identify lands that they deem to be critical and important agricultural lands, critical wildlife habitat, watersheds, recreational lands, and other important lands necessary for the preservation of economically viable and sustainable agricultural production and the quality of life and cultural heritage of their citizens. While working to accomplish this purpose, the Committee and local communities shall give full recognition to the following principles:

A. protection of private property rights;

B. local control over land use decisions;

C. no-net loss of private ownership of land in the state; and

D. partnerships in the funding of conservation efforts.

Further, the Committee shall identify open land conservation projects, initiated by local interests, that need to be submitted to future sessions of the Utah Legislature for authorization.

III. Membership and Meetings

A. The Committee shall be composed of the following members:

1. the executive director of the Department of Natural Resources, who shall serve ex officio;

2. the executive director of the Department of Transportation, who shall serve ex officio;

3. the executive director of the Department of Administrative Services, who shall serve ex officio;

4. the executive director of the Department of Environmental Quality, who shall serve ex officio:

5. the Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture, who shall serve ex officio;

6. the State Planning Coordinator, who shall serve ex officio;

7. the president of the Association of Soil Conservation districts, who shall serve ex officio;

8. a person representing higher education interests:

9. a person representing county interests;

10. a person representing city interests;

11. a person representing builders of the development community;

12. a person representing the conservation or land preservation community;

13. a person representing the financial industry;

14. a person representing the professional planning community;

15. a person who is an agricultural land owner; and

16. others the governor may choose to add.

B. Each member shall serve at the pleasure of the governor.

C. The chair of the Committee shall be selected by the governor.

D. A majority of Committee members in attendance at a meeting constitutes a quorum.

IV. Federal Agency Participation

Because the federal government owns 64% of the land in the state, and must necessarily play a vital role in the preservation of open lands, the state formally requests that the various federal agencies participate in this effort through the contribution of revenue or land, or through strengthening existing partnerships.

V. Powers and Duties

The Committee shall:

A. Inventory and identify real property owned by the Department of Transportation, Department of Natural Resources, Department of Administrative Services, and Department of Agriculture which is not necessary for carrying out the mission of the agency, as determined by the agency. Property owned or managed by the School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration, the Utah Retirement System, the institutions of higher education, the State Tax Commission, the State Office of Education, and the Utah Sports Authority is not subject to this executive order. However, those agencies are encouraged to be cooperative in furthering the purposes of this order.

B. Inventory and identify real property owned by agencies of the federal government which is not necessary for carrying out the purposes of the agency, as determined by the agency.

C. Prepare a report which documents the current status of land conservation and protection efforts in the State of Utah.

D. Provide information and technical assistance whenever possible to local governments for the development of local land conservation programs.

E. Develop a process for identifying, based on local assessment, real property which serves as critical agricultural or wildlife habitat, or watershed or recreational lands, but is in danger of losing that capability, and suggest a conservation technique that would protect those lands.

F. Review opportunities for private groups and local, state, and federal agencies to cooperated in furthering the purposes of the Committee and this order.

G. Determine any laws, rules, or regulations which may impede the charge the Subsections E and F, and make recommendations about necessary changes.

H. Assemble, for the consideration of the 1997 General Session of the Utah Legislature, a package of locally initiated open land conservation projects which require the Legislature's authorization for completion.

I. The Committee shall report to the governor annually on its function and activities.

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have hereto unto set my hand and cause to be affixed the Great Seal of the State of Utah. Done this 24th day of May, 1996.

(State Seal)

Michael O. Leavitt


Olene S. Walker
Lieutenant Governor


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For questions regarding the content or application of this document, please contact the Governor's Office (801-538-1000).