Utah sells piece of land to secure mineral rights

Utah sells piece of land to secure mineral rights

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Utah will have to sell one of its trust lands parcels to gain access to its drilling rights.

In a sale for unusual reasons, board members Thursday authorized the School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration to sell the 210-acre parcel in San Juan County.

The Guymon family offered to buy the parcel's surface rights for $174,000 for cattle grazing while granting access for energy leasing. The parcel is located five miles north of Blanding.

SITLA officials say it's a win-win deal that opens for possible energy development an idle parcel that was so isolated and landlocked nobody could legally reach it.

The agency manages a checkerboard of 3.4 million acres of trust lands granted at Utah statehood. It leases and sells some of the land for development to raise money for public schools.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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