Jason Knox previously worked on the House Natural Resources Committee from 2006 to 2011. Knox then made the transition to the Senate Budget Committee where he handled energy and environmental issues. He most recently served as a Counsel on the House Energy and Commerce Committee under Chairman Fred Upton (MI-06).
“Throughout his career, Jason has worked tirelessly to develop and advance strategic policies that improve the way our natural resources are managed and utilized. He shares my commitment to address some of the biggest challenges facing federal land management and natural resources. One of Jason’s many qualities and qualifications is his dedication as a public servant and I am confident that his experience and leadership will be instrumental to the committee and its Members,” said Chairman-elect Bishop.
Todd Ungerecht has served as senior counsel for Natural Resources Chairman Doc Hastings since 2010, focusing most recently on Endangered Species Act oversight and legislation. He previously served as Congressman Hastings’ counsel on the House Ethics Committee and as a senior policy advisor for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration during President George W. Bush’s administration.“Todd’s comprehensive experience as counsel and policy advisor are a valuable resource for the committee. His career demonstrates a clear commitment to some of the most important issues facing our federal lands, waters, and mineral resources. In this new role, Todd will continue to be a leader on key policy issues that impact our diverse and abundant natural resources, both onshore and offshore,” said Chairman-elect Bishop. Read More
"We are supposed to be a nation of laws, but what the President is doing is an abuse of his authority. Like all Americans, I share a sense of compassion and understanding for families caught in these difficult circumstances, but the President's plan does not fix the problem. He has made it worse. We desperately need a permanent solution, not an imperfect presidential mandate done in isolation. President Obama may think it is acceptable to exceed his own authority through executive action, but our founding fathers established clearly defined powers through the Constitution. The President missed an opportunity to work with Congress and instead has created a toxic atmosphere harming future efforts. Amnesty is not an answer and it sends the wrong message to those who are going through the legitimate immigration process. The first thing to fix is the porous border and that is where our attention should initially be focused," said Congressman Rob Bishop.Read More
“I am honored to have been selected to serve in this important new role at the Natural Resources Committee. As Chairman I will work to ensure that our unique and abundant federal resources are properly managed and that a fair balance is reached between conservation and multiple use. Doc Hastings leaves big shoes to fill and I am grateful for all that he has done to advance and address natural resource policies,” said Congressman Bishop.Read More
“As we look to improve upon and grow the way we transport and develop natural resources here at home and with our allies, there is a clear and present need for the Keystone XL Pipeline. Unnecessary delays in this project can be attributed to political gamesmanship on behalf of the President and Democrats in the Senate. It is my hope that Senator Reid and his democrat colleagues will break away from the President’s political playbook by ensuring that Rep. Cassidy’s legislation is passed in the Senate and signed into law by the President,” said Congressman Bishop.Read More
In May 2014, the D.C. District Court granted a six-month extension of the deadline for final determination on whether to list the Gunnison sage-grouse under the Endangered Species Act. The Gunnison sage grouse has been the subject of a long-term battle waged by conservation groups wanting to curb use and development of public lands where Gunnison populations can be found. It is widely known that the Gunnison’s ESA listing would heavily restrict oil and gas development as well as ranching and recreation on 1.7 million acres of federal land located in Utah and Colorado. Congressman Bishop and Congressman Chaffetz remain concerned that the science used as justification for the listing lacks credibility and that the administration is yet again capitulating to special interest groups.
“States, local governments, and public land users are working collaboratively to restore the Gunnison sage grouse populations and progress continues to be made. Restoration of the species is not something that can fully be measured overnight and it’s premature to supersede state and local actions with an ESA listing. Based on the federal government’s track record of ESA recovery, I’d say that listing this bird is not the panacea. This is yet another case of the federal government thinking it is smarter and more capable than the states and communities, a notion I flatly reject,” said Congressman Bishop, Chairman of the House Natural Resources Public Lands and Environmental Regulation Subcommittee.
“Wildlife management needs to be handled at the state and local level. That’s where the rubber meets the road. Local land-users are better equipped to develop management plans that both maintain and improve the health of wildlife and local habitat. It is disappointing that the federal government is undercutting local efforts in San Juan County by imposing this listing that will have a big impact on local communities in southeast Utah,” said Congressman Chaffetz, whose district includes San Juan County, where Gunnison sage grouse habitat has been identified.Read More
Deseret News editorial
Considering all the “players” involved and “fields” in play, one needs a scorecard to track progress with ongoing public lands efforts in eastern and southeastern Utah.
And the latest addition to that scorecard? A home run coming out of Daggett County.
First, a quick in-game update on the Bishop public lands initiative, bearing the name of Rep. Rob Bishop, the Utah congressman who has spent the last nearly two years trying to broker local land-use agreements. It’s a search for public lands resolutions that the Deseret News dubbed “The Grand Compromise.”
The initiative — a work-in-progress with county-by-county discussions and cooperations — is expected to be unveiled in final-draft form in early 2015. The initiative proposes solutions for some 18 million acres in the extreme eastern past of Utah, with possible wilderness designations reaching 2 million acres and creating well-defined areas for recreation, ranching, oil and gas development, mining interests, potash extraction and more.
The “players” represent dozens of local government entities, special-interest groups, businesses, corporations and the like — all with a vested interest in the public lands and their uses. It’s something Utahns want to see successfully resolved.
Bishop’s initiative allows compromise at the local level — the county-by-county compromises allowing for closest-level discussions unique to that area. In other words, what’s good for Uintah County may be different than what works in Wayne County, rather than painting the entire region with one broad brushstroke.
Emery County, for example, lined up its public lands compromises more than a year ago, a model of prompt effort and cooperation. Other counties, such as San Juan, are on the other end, with invested participants unable so far to find much of a common middle ground. And still others, like Grand, are somewhere in the middle — seemingly reaching a cooperative summit one day only to struggle with a speed bump the next.
Meanwhile, Bishop says Obama administration officials are letting the processes continue while progress is being made, rather than have the federal government come in and with one fell swoop — a national monument designation for a big chunk of the lands — make a game-eliminating play resulting in definite and restrictive land uses.
Which brings us back to Daggett County, the state’s least-populated county (meaning there’s plenty of public lands to work with). Last week, the Daggett participants compromised in give-and-take fashion, including identifying some 100,000 acres (a fifth of Daggett’s land mass) for wilderness and conservation designations, and another 7,000 acres for much-needed resort development.
Officials for the different entities and groups saluted the end result, as did Bishop, who said, “This is almost like a microcosm or template for what we can do in the rest of Utah.”Read More
A small county in northeast Utah has reached a big agreement on the future management of its public lands, offering a spark to a sweeping legislative effort being led by Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah).
Bishop today was scheduled to join Daggett County Commissioner Jerry Steglich, conservationists, county and state officials, and an off-highway vehicle advocate at the Utah State Capitol to tout a deal to designate more than 80,000 acres of wilderness, swap roughly 12,000 acres of federal and state lands, resolve road claims, and bolster OHV access, among other steps.
It marked a major step forward for Bishop's effort to craft a bill balancing conservation, recreation and development on millions of acres of federal land in eastern Utah (Greenwire, Oct. 22, 2013).
Daggett, the smallest of the counties involved, was the last to join Bishop's effort and the first out of the gate with a solution for its public lands.
"What we are trying to do here is put Daggett out as a template or a microcosm," Bishop toldGreenwire this morning.
Bishop said he hopes to introduce a draft multicounty bill by January. By that time, he will likely be chairman of the Natural Resources Committee, a position he said would allow him to expedite the bill through the House.
Today's deal, which is summarized in a three-page list of principles, was also endorsed by Gov. Gary Herbert (R), whose office yesterday called it a "pathbreaking model" for other counties working with Bishop.
Conservationists applauded the deal.
"We'd love to see this exported to other counties," said Tim Peterson, Utah wildlands program manager for the Grand Canyon Trust, who attended today's event. "We hope it will create some momentum."
The Daggett deal would add nearly 50,000 acres of Forest Service land to the High Uintas Wilderness, a massive east-west expanse of snow-covered mountains dotted with trout-filled lakes and some 400 miles of streams.
It would also designate about 33,000 acres of Bureau of Land Management wilderness including the sandstone ridges of the Diamond Breaks wilderness study area near Browns Park, as well as a 31,000-acre BLM conservation area and 14 miles of the Green River as wild and scenic. The agencies would also acquire 13,000 acres of state trust lands trapped within the conservation areas and along the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area.
For Utah and Daggett, the deal would transfer more than 11,000 acres of federal lands to the School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA) -- including energy-rich areas and 6,800 acres at the junction of U.S. 191 and State Highway 44 that Daggett would like to see developed as a summer and winter resort, with possible residences and a ski hill. Other land transactions would support a shooting range, landfill site and power substation in Daggett, while allowing an association of cabin owners to acquire the Forest Service lands under their homes.
"We are trying to garner new interests and other activities that will bring more people to our beautiful county," Daggett County Commissioner Karen Perry told The Salt Lake Tribune this week.
Perry could not be reached yesterday, and Steglich declined to comment ahead of today's event.
The deal also promotes all-terrain vehicle trails in Dutch John Canyon and Sears Canyon and would release about 3,000 acres of federal lands from wilderness management. Moreover, conservationists would ask sponsors in Congress to remove Daggett County from the America's Red Rock Wilderness Act, a bill that calls for 9 million acres of wilderness in Utah but that is opposed by the Utah delegation.
Lastly, the deal includes some resolution to Daggett's road claims under the Civil War-era law known as R.S. 2477, which, until its repeal in 1976, gave settlers the right to build roads and acquire rights of way over federal lands not yet reserved from public use. Utah and its counties are trying to retroactively prove R.S. 2477 claims over some 12,000 roads spanning about 36,000 miles.
The Daggett deal would maintain access for road claims that are outside the proposed conservation areas and currently open to motorized use. The state and county would relinquish claims to roads within the conservation areas.
Stakeholders agreed to an "appropriate administrative process" to resolve the remaining claims.
"The boundaries are good; the management language is good," said Scott Groene, executive director of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, the primary proponent of the Red Rock bill, which has fought the R.S. 2477 claims in court. "A fair amount of trust and goodwill has been built."
Other environmental groups represented at the Capitol this morning were the Wilderness Society, the Sierra Club and Trout Unlimited. Groene said the Natural Resources Defense Council has also backed the plan.
Also scheduled to appear at today's event were John Andrews, associate director of SITLA; Mark Ward, counsel for the Utah Association of Counties; and Mike Swenson, who led the Utah Shared Access Alliance, a motorized recreation advocacy group that backs Utah's bid to take over federal lands.
Stakeholders took field trips over the spring and summer to Spirit Lake in the Uintas and Browns Park, a remote mountain valley that follows the Green and was a notorious hideout for outlaws, including Butch Cassidy.
Peterson, of the Grand Canyon Trust, said credit for the agreement is due to Casey Snider, a Bishop staffer who formerly worked for Trout Unlimited and previously lived in Daggett.
"He did yeoman's work," said Bishop, who hired Snider a few months ago.
Daggett's early success can be attributed, in part, to its small size -- its population is just over 1,000 -- and its unique set of public lands challenges, Bishop said. Just 4 percent of land in Daggett is privately held, which poses economic and fiscal challenges, Bishop said.
Swapping federal and state trust lands will benefit Utah schoolchildren and provide new county revenue, Bishop said. Conservationists say it will ensure that state lands within roadless areas are not developed.
But reaching similar agreement in other eastern Utah counties, including Uintah, Grand, San Juan and Emery -- where there are more competing interests for wilderness, motorized recreation, oil and gas, potash and oil sands -- remains a herculean task.
Battlegrounds include Hatch Point, a pinyon-and-juniper plateau overlooking Canyonlands National Park near Moab that is coveted by wilderness advocates as well as developers of potash, an ingredient used in fertilizer.
Stakeholders must strike a tough compromise on which of millions of acres will be designated as wilderness and which will be released or designated for multiple use, including drilling and ATV use. SUWA has identified roughly 6 million acres in the Red Rock bill.
Bishop's bill must also resolve Utah's and counties' road claims under R.S. 2477, a labor-intensive task given the sheer number of claims at stake. Without a resolution, the law could give local officials control over routes through primitive federal lands, potentially blowing up a legislative deal with greens.
“The Daggett County proposal represents an important milestone in the efforts to advance the Utah Public Lands Initiative. I commend all those who came to the table to find common sense solutions and compromises to some of the biggest challenges that have plagued public lands policy in the state for more than three decades. The draft proposal that will be included in the final PLI legislation includes some key components such as economic development for the county, economic opportunities for SITLA, land and water conservation, increased opportunities for motorized and non-motorized recreation, and advancements for the sportsmens’ community,” said Congressman Bishop.
“This proposal is the result of significant negotiations and compromise on behalf of everyone involved. I’m proud that we are able to bring new opportunities for economic development to Daggett County as a result of our efforts and that was always our primary goal. Ensuring the future success and economic viability of our county remained our number one priority and this proposal reflects that,” said Daggett County Commissioner Jerry Steglich.
“I’m pleased that each party involved in the proposal recognizes the importance of supporting the future economic growth of Daggett County. The ongoing uncertainty that has plagued public land use has been a challenge for Daggett County and the other counties involved in the Public Lands Initiative. The proposal introduced today is a key step forward for Daggett County. Some concerns and challenges remain but this brings a clear path forward and I’m proud to lend my support to this important initiative,” said Senator Kevin Van Tassell.
Specifically, the Daggett County proposal includes the following key provisions:
COUNTY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
· County to receive 800 acres of Forest Service land adjacent to Dutch John for a shooting range, power substation, and landfill.
· County to receive increased annual revenue from the transfer of energy revenue producing site to SITLA.
· County to benefit from SITLA-Forest Service land exchange that may facilitate development of year-round resort.
· County to cooperatively manage historic Swett and Jarvie ranches to maintain their economic value as tourist attractions.
INCREASED ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES ON UTAH SCHOOL AND INSTITUTIONAL TRUST LANDS ADMINISTRATION
· Large SITLA land exchange that will trade scattered and low economic value SITLA holdings for consolidated holdings that have higher revenue potential.
· Lands to be acquired by SITLA include an energy revenue producing site and Forest Service land that is sought for year-round resort development.
LAND AND WATER CONSERVATION AND RESOLUTION OF WILDERNESS
· Establish over 80,000 acres of wilderness on BLM and Forest Service land.
· Establishing a 30,000-acre conservation area.
· Designate a portion of the Green River as a wild and scenic river.
· Forest Service and BLM to acquire state lands within conservation and wilderness areas.
RESOLUTION OF R.S. 2477
· County to receive rights on open routes on BLM land outside of proposed wilderness and conservation area.
· County and State of Utah to relinquish claims on routes within proposed wilderness and conservation area.
· Establish a process for county to apply for rights-of-way on closed routes on BLM land outside of proposed wilderness and conservation area.
OTHER BENEFITS TO DAGGETT COUNTY
· Land exchange to facilitate a homeowners association acquiring their home sites from the Forest Service.
· Facilitate the exchange or sale of the Forest Service lands containing privately-owned cabins to the cabin owners.
INCREASED RECREATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES
· Protection for important hunting habitat as a conservation area.
· Ensure that the Forest Service maintains specified campgrounds.
· Upon passage of legislation, support the reopening of the Sears Canyon route to ATV traffic and the establishment of an ATV route up Dutch John Canyon.Read More
“I am grateful to the teachers, staff, volunteers, and speakers who help make this conference possible for students each year. Having spent the better part of three decades as a public school teacher in Utah, I recognize the importance of providing students with opportunities for practical application of their textbook studies. This event is a great venue for students to engage with their peers and expand their understanding of government and history outside of the classroom,” said Bishop.
During the conference, students will participate in group discussions, conduct case study sessions, and discuss and debate current policy issues being addressed by Congress. Guest speakers this year include Lieutenant Governor Spencer Cox as well as Judge Ted Stewart.
Students were selected by their teachers for attendance at this event. Invitations were sent to all high schools and school districts located in the First Congressional District.
WHAT: Annual Education Conference hosted by Congressman Rob Bishop
WHERE: Utah State Capitol Complex
350 N. State Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84114
DATE: Tuesday, October 21, 2014
TIME: 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. MDT
*As always, this event is open to all members of the media*Read More
123 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
A public school teacher turned public servant, Rob Bishop represents Utah’s First Congressional District in the U.S. Congress.
Rob Bishop is a life-long resident of the First District, with the exception of two years he spent in Germany while serving a mission for the LDS Church. He was born and raised in Kaysville, Utah, where he graduated from Davis High School with High Honors. He later graduated magna cum laude from the University of Utah with a degree in Political Science. He has been a resident of Brigham City since 1974.
Rob is married to Jeralynn Hansen, a former Miss Brigham City. They have five children: Shule, Jarom, Zenock, Maren, and Jashon. They have six grandchildren- three boys and three girls.
Before coming to Congress, Rob was active in community theater, which is how he met his wife many years ago. As an avid baseball fan, Rob is a season ticket holder to the Salt Lake Bees and has coached in multiple leagues.
Rob is a devoted public servant. He has served his community in the State Legislature. During his sixteen years representing the Brigham City area, Rob distinguished himself as a leader. His last two years he was unanimously elected to serve as Speaker of the House. He also co-founded the Western States Coalition, a multi-state organization dedicated to protecting states’ rights and promoting Western interests and values.
Rob has served his political party for more than thirty years. Rob has worked at nearly every level of the Republican party, from precinct chair to member of the Republican National Committee, and has spent years working in every corner of this District. He has gone from Vice-Chair of the Davis County Teenage Republicans in 1968 to the advisor of the Utah Teenage Republicans in 1996. In 1997, he was elected Chairman of the Utah Republican Party. He served for two terms.
Rob has dedicated his life to teaching. He started teaching at Box Elder High School (BEHS) in Brigham City in 1974. From 1980 through 1985 he taught German and coached debate at Ben Lomond High School in Ogden, Utah, before returning to BEHS. Before retiring in December of 2002, he taught advanced placement courses in government and U.S. History, while serving as the Chair of the History Department at BEHS.
On January 7, 2003, Rob Bishop was sworn in as the new Congressman from Utah’s First Congressional District, replacing the retiring Representative Jim Hansen. For his first term, he was appointed to serve on his top three choices for House Committees – the Armed Services Committee, the Resources Committee, and the Science Committee – all three of which handle critical issues for Utah’s First District. In January 2005, Rob was sworn into a second term. He was subsequently appointed by the Speaker to serve on the powerful House Rules Committee, the legislative “gatekeeper” for all bills coming to the House floor. During the 111th Congress, Rob was instrumental in founding the10th Amendment Task Force- a coalition of House Members committed to working toward disbursing power in Washington back to the people and states.
Rob is now in his sixth term in the House. During the 113th Congress, Rob will serve on the House Armed Services Committee and the powerful House Rules Committee. Rob will also continue serving on the Committee on Natural Resources where he is Chairman of the Public Lands and Environmental Regulation Subcommittee.