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History of Agriculture, Utah
Taken from the Utah History Encyclopedia. (Links Added)
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Another important shift took place on Utah's public lands, which amounted to some 33,530,000 acres (or 64 percent of the state). In 1900 stockgrowers had the best claim to and strongest interest in Utah's federal lands. But with multiple use concepts other interests emerged. Inhabitants of cities concerned with watershed management and flood control were important early. Later, as national parks were created and other agencies shifted their thinking, tourists and recreationists became increasingly important. One result of this has been a sharp drop in the land access enjoyed by stockmen. Utah's support of the Sagebrush Rebellion in the late 1970s and the conservative policy of the Department of Interior was closely related to concern over the use of public lands.

More traditional agrarian interests also continued to appeal to many urban Utahns. This was apparent in the flourishing of the Mormon Welfare Program after 1936. The so-called "Stake Welfare Farm" - an agricultural project operated for and by one or more Mormon stakes - dotted some traditional farm districts near the population centers. In more rural areas the projects often managed livestock operations that utilized church-owned farms and range land as well as public grazing permits. By the mid-1980s the volunteer labor aspect of this process had begun to diminish, but for decades the Mormon church had pushed a program in which many non-farmers practiced rural values and skills and in an emotional sense, if not indeed legally, shared in farm ownership.


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