S 2383 Utah Test and Training Range Encroachment Prevention and Temporary Closure Act, sponsored by Senator Orrin Hatch, was included in the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act passed by Congress in December 2016 and signed into law by President Obama. The testimony given by Mike Pool, Acting Deputy Director for Operations at BLM, April 21, 2016, explained among other things, which SITLA lands in Washington County were transferred to BLM in exchange for BLM-managed public lands in northern Utah.
“One parcel of this State land, located near the Arizona-Utah border, contains critical habitat for the Federally-endangered Holmgren milk-vetch and is within the West-15 Preserve established by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2006 for preservation of the plant species.
The remainder of the potential State parcels are located within the wilderness areas or National Conservation Areas in Washington County, Utah, established by the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 (P.L. 111-11).”
If there is not enough land to meet equal value they will consider trading out about 6000 acres of state land within the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area. There is also about 168 acres of holmgren milkvetch (endangered species) habitat south of St George on state land also being considered. This trade may occur this summer that will include public comments.