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Utah Passes Anti-NAC Legislation

by | Mar 28, 2024 | Liberty Matters, NACs | 0 comments

Utah Passes Anti-NAC Legislation

On March 12, Utah Governor Spencer Cox signed into law H.B. 496, the Public Land Use Amendments bill authored by Rep. Carl Albrecht and Sen. Heidi Balderree.

H.B. 496 is one of the nation’s first bills passed by a state legislature opposing Natural Asset Companies (NACs).  It also opposed the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) proposed rule to change the definition of multiple use on federal lands by prioritizing conservation and conservation leases making them equal to other productive uses on the multiple-use lands.

The bill specifically prohibits Natural Asset Companies from (1) purchasing or leasing state lands, (2) owning or managing a conservation lease or purchasing a lease or ecosystem services on federal lands within the state.

Ecosystem services was defined in the bill as the “natural and biological processes on a parcel of land that benefit human well-being and quality of life.  These processes include the conversion of carbon dioxide to oxygen in plants through photosynthesis, purification of in-stream surface water or groundwater by naturally occurring microorganisms, soil or bedrock percolation, or chemical detoxification, and noncommercial recreational benefit of natural lands.”

Utahans have taken a key step protecting their state from the predatory NAC agenda and federal overreach. This is in large part thanks to the leadership of State Treasurer, Marlo Oaks, who helped defeat the attempt to list NACs on the New York Stock Exchange.

If the Natural Asset Companies had been approved, natural processes such as pollination and photosynthesis would have been monetized and owned by the investors of NACs. They would have created this new asset class and assumed the right to these process on government owned and private lands.

Although the proposed rule was withdrawn, proponents have stated they will be trying to get these approved in the near future.

The Bureau of Land Management has advanced a proposed rule to prioritize conservation over the multiple-uses on the land it manages. They are attempting to replace the currently authorized uses such as hunting, recreation, mining, oil and gas development, timber harvesting, and livestock grazing with a conservation lease that would prevent those uses.

The conservation leases could have been enrolled in a NAC, giving foreign adversaries a way to control the development of natural resources in America.

Read H.B. 496 here. https://le.utah.gov/~2024/bills/hbillenr/HB0496.pdf

Learn more about NACs here.