DAR File No. 43480

This rule was published in the February 1, 2019, issue (Vol. 2019, No. 3) of the Utah State Bulletin.

Natural Resources, Forestry, Fire and State Lands

Rule R652-70

Sovereign Lands

Notice of Proposed Rule


DAR File No.: 43480
Filed: 01/14/2019 02:19:52 PM


Purpose of the rule or reason for the change:

The purpose of this rule change is to clarify the rule for irrigation pumps and/or structures placed on sovereign lands, and the type of permit that the pump or structure requires.

Summary of the rule or change:

This amendment will clarify that general permit uses will include irrigation pumps or irrigation structures installed on sovereign lands.

Statutory or constitutional authorization for this rule:

  • Section 65A-10-1

Anticipated cost or savings to:

the state budget:

After conducting an analysis is has been determined that anticipated costs or saving to the state budget is inestimable at the time because further analysis studies and must be completed. In addition, the anticipated cost or savings would require other metrics which are unknown at this time to develop an accurate representation of costs or savings.

local governments:

After conducting an analysis it has been determined that that this proposed rule change will not have any impact on local governments' revenues or expenditures, as it does not apply to local governments.

small businesses:

After conducting an analysis it has been determined that this proposed rule change will not have any impact on small businesses' revenues or expenditures as it does not apply to small businesses.

persons other than small businesses, businesses, or local governmental entities:

After conducting an analysis it has been determined that this proposed rule change will not have any direct impact on individuals unless the individual is wanting to place a pump or irrigation structure on sovereign lands, in which case they would be required to pay a fee to do so. However, those costs are inestimable without knowing how many individuals would desire a pump or irrigation structure on sovereign lands, how many pumps are requested, and rather or not the location of the pump requires a permit.

Compliance costs for affected persons:

The cost for affected persons would only apply if that person is desiring to place a pump on sovereign lands and has a right to do so. In those cases, the compliance costs would be the application fee in the amount of $50, plus $50 for an irrigation pump head and/or $150 for an irrigation structure. Applications received prior to 07/01/2019 will only be subject to the $50 application fee and will not be required to pay the permit fee.

Comments by the department head on the fiscal impact the rule may have on businesses:

There will be a minimal impact on businesses due to this amendment.

Michael R. Styler, Executive Director

The full text of this rule may be inspected, during regular business hours, at the Office of Administrative Rules, or at:

Natural Resources
Forestry, Fire and State Lands
SALT LAKE CITY, UT 84116-3154

Direct questions regarding this rule to:

  • Jamie Phillips-Barnes at the above address, by phone at 801-538-5421, by FAX at 801-533-4111, or by Internet E-mail at jamiebarnes@utah.gov

Interested persons may present their views on this rule by submitting written comments to the address above no later than 5:00 p.m. on:


This rule may become effective on:


Authorized by:

Brian Cottam, Director


Appendix 1: Regulatory Impact Summary Table*

Fiscal Costs

FY 2019

FY 2020

FY 2021

State Government




Local Government




Small Businesses




Non-Small Businesses




Other Person




Total Fiscal Costs:




Fiscal Benefits

State Government




Local Government




Small Businesses




Non-Small Businesses




Other Persons




Total Fiscal Benefits:




Net Fiscal Benefits:





*This table only includes fiscal impacts that could be measured. If there are inestimable fiscal impacts, they will not be included in this table. Inestimable impacts for State Government, Local Government, Small Businesses and Other Persons are described in the narrative. Inestimable impacts for Non - Small Businesses are described in Appendix 2.


Appendix 2: Regulatory Impact to Non - Small Businesses

This proposed rule change is not expected to have any fiscal impact on non-small businesses because this rule does not apply to non-small businesses in any way that would create a fiscal impact on said.


The Executive Director of the Department of Natural Resources, Michael Styler,and the agency head of the Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands, Brian L. Cottam,have reviewed and approve this fiscal analysis.



R652. Natural Resources; Forestry, Fire and State Lands.

R652-70. Sovereign Lands.

R652-70-100. Authority.

This rule provides for the management and classification of the surface of sovereign lands in Utah, which include but are not limited to, the beds of Bear Lake, the Great Salt Lake, Utah Lake, the Jordan River, the Bear River from the Amalga Bridge to the Great Salt lake, the summer channel of the Bear River from the Utah-Idaho border to the Amalga Bridge, and portions of the beds of the Green and Colorado Rivers. Should any other lakes or streams, or portions thereof, be declared navigable by the courts, the beds of such lakes or streams would fall under the authority of these rules. It also provides for the issuance of special use leases, general permits and easements on sovereign lands and the procedures and fees necessary to obtain these rights of use. This rule implements Article XX of the Utah Constitution, and Section 65A-10-1.


R652-70-200. Classification of Sovereign Lands.

Sovereign lands may be classified based upon their current and planned uses. A synopsis of some possible classes and an example of each class follows. For more detailed information, consult the management plan for the area in question.

1. Class 1: Manage to protect existing resource development uses. The Utah State Park Marinas on Bear Lake and on Great Salt Lake are areas where the current use emphasizes development.

2. Class 2: Manage to protect potential resource development options. For example, areas adjacent to Class 1 areas which have the potential to be developed.

3. Class 3: Manage as open for consideration of any use. This might include areas which do not currently show development potential but which are not now, or in the foreseeable future, needed to protect or preserve the resources.

4. Class 4: Manage for resource inventory and analysis. This is a temporary classification which allows the division to gather the necessary resource information to make a responsible classification decision.

5. Class 5: Manage to protect potential resource preservation options. Sensitive areas of wildlife habitat may fall into this class.

6. Class 6: Manage to protect existing resource preservation uses. Cisco Beach on Bear Lake is an example of an area where the resource is currently being protected.


R652-70-300. Categories of Leases, Permits, and Easements.

The division may issue Special Use Leases for terms of one to 51 years, and General Permits for terms of one to 30 years for surface uses, excluding grazing uses on sovereign lands. Grazing permits and mineral leases are considered separately under the range resource management rules and the mineral lease rules. Easement terms and conditions shall be prescribed in the particular easement document. Any lease, permit, or easement, issued by the division on sovereign lands, is subject to a public trust; and any lease, permit, or easement may be revoked at any time if necessary to fulfill public trust responsibilities.

1. Special Use Leases: Uses may include the following:

(a) Commercial: Income producing uses such as marinas, recreation piers or facilities, docks, moorings, restaurants, or gas service facilities.

(b) Industrial: Uses such as oil terminals, piers, wharves, mooring.

(c) Agricultural/Aquacultural: Any use which utilizes the bed of a navigable lake or stream to grow or harvest any plant or animal.

(d) Private Uses: Non-income producing uses such as piers, buoys, boathouses, docks, water-ski facilities, houseboats, moorings, not qualifying for a general permit under R652-70-300(2)(c).

2. General Permit: Uses may include the following:

(a) Public agency uses such as public roads, bridges, recreation areas, or wildlife refuges having a statewide public benefit.

(b) Public agency protective structures such as dikes, breakwaters and flood control workings.

(c) Private recreational uses such as any facility for the launching, docking or mooring of boats which is constructed for the use of the adjacent upland owner.[An adjacent upland owner is defined as any person who owns adjacent upland property which is improved with, and used solely for a single-family dwelling.]

(d) Irrigation pumps or irrigation pump structures installed for the use of the adjacent upland owner, or with written permission from the adjacent upland owner.

3. Easements: Applications for easements not meeting the criteria of R652-70-300(2) shall follow the rules and procedures outlined in the division's rules governing the issuance of easements.


R652-70-400. Lease and General Permit Provisions.

The provisions for special use leases and general permits on sovereign lands shall be the same as those found in R652-30 Special Use Leases.


R652-70-500. Lease and General Permit Payments, and Audits.

The rules for lease and general permit payments and audits on sovereign lands are the same as those found in R652-30 Special Use Leases.


R652-70-600. Lease Rates.

1. Procedures for determining fair market value for surface leases are found in R652-30-400. Where these general procedures can not readily be applied, fair market value for sovereign lands may also be determined by multiplying the market value, as determined by the county assessor or, if none, then as determined by the State Tax Commission, of the adjacent upland by 30%.

2. Procedures for determining lease rates are described in R652-30 Special Use Leases. Lease rates for sovereign lands may also be determined by multiplying the fair market value, as determined by R652-70-600(1), by the current division - determined interest rate and then prorating that amount by a season of use adjustment as determined by the division.

3. Regardless of lease rate determined by R652-70-600(2), no Special Use Lease shall be issued for an amount less than the minimum lease rate determined by the division.


R652-70-700. Permit Rates.

1. An application fee may be waived if it is for a public agency's use of sovereign lands and if the director determines that the agency use enhances public use and enjoyment of sovereign land.

2. A rental fee may be waived if it is for a public agency's use of sovereign lands and if the director determines that a commensurate public benefit accrues from the use.

3. The division shall establish rental rates for any private recreational use of sovereign land as outlined under R652-70-300(2)(c). The adjacent upland owner shall also pay to the division, in accordance with its current fee schedule, the division's expenses in issuing a general permit.

4. The director may negotiate a filing fee for general permits with impacted governmental agencies. This would be a one-time package fee for currently existing uses of sovereign lands. Future application for use will be treated under the existing fee schedule or may be authorized by the amendment of an existing permit, after payment of an amendment fee pursuant to R652-4.

5. The director may enter into agreements with state agencies having regulatory authority on navigable lakes and rivers to allow these agencies to authorize public agency use of sovereign land provided that:

(a) the use is consistent with division policies and coordinated with other activities of the division;

(b) the applicant has an existing general permit in good standing under which the proposed use can be placed pursuant to R652-70-700(3);

(c) a commensurate public benefit accrues from the use, as indicated by criteria provided in the agreement;

(d) the proposed use meets the criteria required by the state agency; and

(e) the proposed use is consistent with the principles of multiple use and sustained yield as defined in Section 65A-1-1.


R652-70-800. Applicant Qualifications.

Any person who is qualified to do business in the state of Utah, and is not in default under the laws of the state of Utah relative to qualifications to do business within the state, and not in default on any previous agreements with the division, shall be a qualified applicant for a lease, permit, or easement on sovereign land.


R652-70-900. Applications.

Application for a Special Use Lease or General Permit shall be on forms provided by the division or exact copies thereof. Applications must be accompanied by plans which include references to the relationship of the proposed use to the various water surface elevations of the lake or stream as well as the relationship of the proposed use to the lake or stream boundary and vicinity at the site of the proposed use. The application must also include a description of the proposal's relationship to the classification system found in the appropriate master plan and outlined in R652-70-200. Where applicable, applications must be accompanied by a copy of local building permits, a copy of the Army Corps of Engineer permit, and a copy of any additional permits required by the Division of Parks and Recreation.


R652-70-1000. Deficient Applications.

Incomplete applications, and applications not accompanied by filing fees when required, shall not be accepted for filing. The division will notify the applicant of any deficiency.


R652-70-1100. Additional Approvals.

Nothing in these rules shall excuse a person making an application for a general permit, lease, or easement from obtaining any additional approvals lawfully required by any local, state, or federal agency, including, local zoning boards, or any other local regulatory entity, the Division of Parks and Recreation, the State Engineer, the Division of Oil, Gas and Mining, the United States Army Corps of Engineers, the United States Coast Guard, or any other local, state, or federal agency.


R652-70-1200. Dredging and Filling Requires Approval.

The placing of dredged or fill material, refuse or waste material, intended as or becoming fill material, on the beds of any navigable water in the state of Utah shall require written approval by the division.


R652-70-1300. Excavated or Dredged Channels, and Basins.

Excavated or dredged channels or basins will only be authorized by the director on a showing of reasonable necessity. Material removed during excavation or dredging shall be carried and deposited at a point above normal flood water levels, unless the applicant can satisfy the director that an alternative plan for disposition of the material is feasible and will not have an unreasonably adverse effect upon other values, including water quality. Additional conditions may be stipulated in the permit.


R652-70-1400. Approval Not Required to Repair Existing Facilities.

Approval is not required by the division to clean, maintain, or to make repairs to existing facilities authorized by a permit or lease in good standing. Approval is required to replace, enlarge, or extend the facilities, or for any activity which would disturb the surface of the bed of any navigable water, or which would cause any rock or sediment to enter a navigable body of water.


R652-70-1500. Docks, Piers, and Similar Structures.

All docks, piers, or similar structures shall be constructed to protrude as nearly as possible at right angles to the general shoreline and to not interfere with docks, piers, or similar structures presently existing or likely to be installed to serve adjacent facilities. The structures may extend to a length that will provide access to a water depth that will afford sufficient draft for water craft customarily in use on the particular body of water during the normal low water period.


R652-70-1600. Retaining Walls and Bulkheads.

Retaining walls and bulkheads will not be authorized below the ordinary high water mark without a showing of extraordinary need.


R652-70-1700. Breakwaters and Jetties.

1. Breakwaters and jetties will not be authorized below the normal low water mark without a showing of extraordinary need. This shall not apply to floating breakwaters secured by piling or other approved anchoring devices and used to protect private property from recurring wind, wave, or ice damage.

2. The director may approve streambank stabilization practices concurrently with the issuance of streambed alteration permits issued by the Division of Water Rights if the director determines that the proposed practice is consistent with public trust management.


R652-70-1800. Overhead Clearance.

Overhead clearance between the ordinary high water mark and any structure, pipeline, or transmission line must be sufficient to pass the largest vessel which may reasonably be anticipated to use the subject waters in the vicinity of the easement.


R652-70-1900. Camping and Motor Vehicles.

1. The division may restrict camping on the beds of navigable lakes and rivers. Except as provided elsewhere in this rule, motor vehicles are prohibited from driving or parking on these lands at all times, except that those areas supervised by the Division of Parks and Recreation or other enforcement entity, and posted as open to vehicle use, will be open to vehicle use.

2. Persons found in violation of 65A-3-1(1)(g-h) are subject to the criminal penalties set forth in 76-3-204 and 76-3-301 as determined by the court.


R652-70-2000. Existing Uses.

Every person using sovereign lands without a current permit or lease shall, within 60 days of notification by the division, submit an application as provided under R652-70-900.


R652-70-2100. Authorization of Existing Uses.

Authorization of the following uses may be recognized following compliance with Section R652-70-2000:

1. Uses existing on December 31, 1968, whether they were such as to be entitled to issuance of a permit or not.

2. Rights previously granted an applicant by the Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands.


R652-70-2200. Violations.

The following acts or omissions shall subject a person to a civil penalty as provided in Section 65A-3-1(3):

1. A violation of the provisions of Section 65A-3-1(1-2);

2. A violation of any special order of the director applicable to the bed of a navigable water; or

3. Refusal to cease and desist from any violation in regards to the bed of a navigable water after having been notified to do so, in writing, by the director by personal service or certified mail, within the time provided in the notice, or within 30 days of service of the notice if no time is provided.


R652-70-2300. Management of Bear Lake Sovereign Lands.

(1) Lands lying below the ordinary high water mark of Bear Lake as of the date of statehood are owned by the state of Utah and shall be administered by the division as sovereign lands.

(2) Upon application for a specific use of state lands near the boundary of Bear Lake, or in the event of a dispute as to the ownership of the sovereign character of the lands near the boundary of Bear Lake, the division may evaluate all relevant historical evidence of the lake elevation, the water erosion along the shoreline, the topography of the land, and other relevant information to determine the relationship of the land in question to the ordinary high water mark.

(3) In the absence of evidence establishing the ordinary high water mark as of the date of statehood, the division shall administer all the lands within the bed of Bear Lake and lying below the level of 5,923.65 feet above mean sea level, Utah Power and Light datum, as being sovereign lands.

(4) The division, after notice to affected state agencies and any person with an ownership in the land, may enter into agreements to establish boundaries with owners of land adjoining the bed of Bear Lake; provided that the agreements shall not set a boundary for sovereign lands below the level of 5,923.65 feet above mean sea level.

(5) The established speed limit is 10 miles per hour.

(6) Camping and use of motorized vehicles are prohibited between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.

(7) No campfires or fireworks are allowed.

(8) The use and operation of motor vehicles on sovereign land at Bear Lake shall be governed by Utah Code 65A-3-1 and division plans.

(9) Pursuant to 65A-2-6(2), to obtain a permit to launch or retrieve a motorboat on states lands surrounding Bear Lake, a person shall:

(a) Complete the online Mussel-Aware Boater Program and receive a multiple use Decontamination Certification Form valid through the end of the calendar year as required and provided by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources as part of the Aquatic Invasive Species Program.

(10) A person may only purchase one (1) beach launching permit annually.

(a) The permit is valid for the calendar year within which the permit is issued.

(b) The permit does not authorize launching or retrieving a motorboat or parking or operating a motor vehicle in an area designated as closed to motorized use.

(c) Lost or stolen permits may be replaced at the established fee.

(11) The division may enter into an agreement with a local governmental entity or state agency to issue the beach launching permits in compliance with the requirements listed above.

(a) The agreement will allow the entity or agency to establish a minimal administrative fee not to exceed $25 for issuing the beach launching permit.

(12) The division or the entity or agency with an agreement to issue the beach launching permit may revoke a permit or deny an applicant a permit to launch under the following circumstances:

(a) The applicant fails to comply with the beach launching permit requirements and stipulations listed above (R652-70-2300(9)(a-b) and R652-70-2300(10)(a-c))

(b) the applicant fails to acquire a lease or permit for structures placed on sovereign lands that may include but is not limited to buoys, piers, docks (with the associated anchors/weights) or boat ramps as required in R652-70-300.

(13) Persons found in violation of 65A-3-1(1-3) are subject to the criminal penalties set forth in 76-3-204 and 76-3-301 as determined by the court as well as civil damages set forth in 65A-3-1(3).


R652-70-2400. Recreational Use of Navigable Rivers.

1. Navigable rivers include the Bear River, Jordan River, and portions of the Green and Colorado rivers. On the Green River the navigable portions presently recognized as being owned by the state are generally described as from Dinosaur National Monument to the mouth of Sand Wash, and from the mouth of Desolation Canyon at Swazey's Rapid, also known as Twelve Mile Rapid, to the north boundary of Canyonlands National Park. On the Colorado River the navigable portions presently recognized as being owned by the state are generally described as from the mouth of Castle Creek to the east boundary of Canyonlands National Park and from the mouth of Cataract Canyon to the Arizona state line. Except as specified, this Section applies to recreational navigation on these waters.

2. Each group conducting an overnight float trip is required to possess and utilize a washable, reusable toilet system that allows for disposal of solid human body waste through an authorized sewage system.

3. All garbage, trash, human waste and pet waste must be carried off the river and disposed of properly.

4. For a float trip that takes place on the Colorado River between the mouth of Castle Creek and Potash, where toilet facilities and sewage and trash receptacles are available, these provided facilities may be used in lieu of reusable toilets and carrying out garbage, trash, and waste products.

5. The maximum group size for overnight river trips is limited to 25 persons. Two or more groups may not camp together if the resulting group size exceeds 25 persons at a campsite.

6. Each group on an overnight float trip is required to possess a durable metal fire pan at least 12 inches wide, with a lip of at least 1.5 inches around its outer edge, and to utilize this fire pan to contain campfires.

7. Only driftwood may be used as firewood. No cutting of firewood is allowed except in designated areas. Ashes and charcoal accumulated during a trip must be carried out and disposed of properly.

8. A right of entry permit from the division and a special recreation permit from the federal agency managing the land through which the river flows are required for commercial float trips.

9. For the Green River from Green River State Park to Canyonlands National Park, each noncommercial group floating the river shall have in the group's possession a valid interagency noncommercial river trip permit and shall abide by its terms. This permit will be issued free of charge by the Division, the Division of Parks and Recreation, the Bureau of Land Management, authorized outfitters and authorized private landowners. Subsection R652-70-2400(8) applies to commercial trips.


KEY: sovereign lands, permits, administrative procedures

Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment: [July 6, 2015]2019

Notice of Continuation: March 29, 2017

Authorizing, and Implemented or Interpreted Law: 65A-10-1

Additional Information

More information about a Notice of Proposed Rule is available online.

The Portable Document Format (PDF) version of the Bulletin is the official version. The PDF version of this issue is available at https://rules.utah.gov/publicat/bull_pdf/2019/b20190201.pdf. The HTML edition of the Bulletin is a convenience copy. Any discrepancy between the PDF version and HTML version is resolved in favor of the PDF version.

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For questions regarding the content or application of this rule, please contact Jamie Phillips-Barnes at the above address, by phone at 801-538-5421, by FAX at 801-533-4111, or by Internet E-mail at jamiebarnes@utah.gov.  For questions about the rulemaking process, please contact the Office of Administrative Rules.