Hatch, Lee Introduce Legislation to Resolve Land Ownership for Homeowners Near Scofield Reservoir

February 1, 2012

WASHINGTON – U.S. 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 Bureau.

“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 Sen. Lee. "With the help of Senator Hatch and Rep. Matheson, I am confident that will be the case."

The issue became a priority for Senator Hatch last year after State Rep. Patrick Painter raised the issue and the potential devastation that could be caused to the homeowners in Carbon County. U.S. Rep. Jim Matheson  is planning on introducing identical legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.