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Legislation brings glimmer of hope to Scofield shore residents

Scofield property owner Dean Dennison lets his thoughts about the land situation flow during the BOR meeting at the Carbon County Events Center in September of 2009

Utah Senators Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) today introduced legislation that allows for the transfer of ownership of certain federal lands surrounding the Scofield Reservoir in Carbon County.

Within the last few years it has been discovered that dozens of homes around the Reservoir are encroaching on land owned by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (BOR), meaning that homeowners do not own the land underneath their homes. The legislation allows the homeowners to purchase the land from the BOR.

"This common-sense legislation ensures that the families who have owned homes around the Reservoir for generations will not have to worry that their homes will be seized and destroyed by the government," Hatch said. "Hopefully this legislation moves quickly and we can resolve this issue once and for all."

"This solution will ensure the affected residents of Carbon County are protected and their homes are not in jeopardy," said Senator Lee. "With the help of Senator Hatch and Representative Matheson, I am confident that will be the case."

The issue became a priority for Senator Hatch last year after State Representative Patrick Painter raised the issue and the potential devastation that could be caused to the homeowners in Carbon County.

Matheson is planning on introducing identical legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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