Economics

Utah is a state rich in land resources, most of which are owned and managed by federal agencies. Like many other western states, land ownership in Utah is characterized by a high level of federally controlled land intermingled with state and privately owned lands.

Of Utah’s 52.7 million acres, federal agencies manage 63 percent, or 33.2 million acres. Most of this land is administered by two federal agencies: the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS). Other federal agencies with much smaller shares include the National Park Service, the Department of Defense, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Department of Energy, and the Bureau of Reclamation. Twenty-four percent of lands are in private ownership, which includes county and municipal land. Tribal lands account for 4.5 percent of the total. Utah state government agencies own and manage the remaining 10 percent of the land in the state.

Natural resources contribute significantly to the State’s economy. Federal land management policies have dramatic impacts on the industries reliant on federal land. With 63 percent of the state under federal land management, the coordination and cooperation discussed in the preceding section are imperative to the continued economic success of the state.