San Juan County will participate in the development of a public lands bill in Congress, but the parameters of the involvement have yet to be set.
County participation in the development of the bill was a topic of discussion at the December 9 meeting of the San Juan County Commission.
Congressmen Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Rob Bishop (R-UT) have led the process to develop the bill, seeking input from a wide variety of interested parties, including local governments, tribes and special interest groups.
A wide range of recommendations have already been received for the bill.
The goal is to address public lands issues in the area, with the hope of settling issues that have festered for more than three decades.
As chairman of the House Public Lands and Environmental Legislation Subcommittee, Bishop has stated that this process could lead to a bill.
San Juan County has delayed involvement with the bill even while four other counties in eastern Utah have joined the process.
A Public Lands Committee, made up of county employees, saw its work pushed to the sidelines while Commissioners wrangled over what should and should not be include in the San Juan County recommendation for the bill.
The final recommendation has yet to be hammered out. Commissioners discussed using a 2008 San Juan County Master Plan as a guide.
In other county matters, a budget is scheduled to be approved by the Commission before the end of the calendar year.
County officials report that the current General Fund budget recommendation is still about $200,000 out of balance.
Adjustments to the budget will need to be made before a balanced budget is approved later in the month.