BLM Press Release - Tuesday, May 19, 2020
VERNAL, Utah – The Bureau of Land Management Vernal Field Office today announced the conveyance of 790 acres of public lands, known as Ashley Springs Property, in Uintah County.
“Protecting watersheds and aquifers is vital in this part of Utah and across the West. We’re pleased to be able to finalize this conveyance to ensure that this source of fresh water remains intact,” said BLM Utah Acting State Director Anita Bilbao.
Signed by President Trump on March 12, 2019, the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act directs BLM to convey 790 acres of Federal Land to Uintah County, which will be managed as open space to protect the watershed and underground karst system and aquifer. The conveyance includes surface and mineral interests.
“This 790 acre transfer is a big deal for Vernal and Uintah County, one of the many wins secured for Utah in the lands package passed at the start of the session,” said Ranking Member of the House Committee on Natural Resources Congressman Rob Bishop (R-UT). “It shrinks the federal estate and guarantees local control and I’m pleased the Administration was able to finalize the transfer. This conveyance is another important precedent showing Congress recognizes that state and local control is good for the land and for the people.”
“Uintah County is very pleased to finally get one step closer in realizing the transfer of 790 acres in Ashley Gorge to Uintah County. The transfer of Ashley Springs will put local government in charge of our Valley's critical water supply. We appreciate Congressman Bishop's hard work for passage of this legislation and Secretary Bernhardt's implementation to move this transfer forward and receive the parcel by the end of July 2020,” said Uintah County Commissioners.
The BLM is no longer accepting land use applications affecting the described public lands, and the lands have been temporarily segregated from appropriation under public land laws, including mining laws. The published Notice of Realty Action can be found in the Federal Register.
For additional information, please contact Roger Bankert, Vernal Field Manager, at 435-781-3416. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-877- 8339 to leave a message or question with the above individual. The FRS is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Replies are provided during normal business hours.