Bills to transfer federal control of lands to local stewardship progress through Congress

“Sadly, these bills are necessary because the federal government has not recently been that good neighbor, and ideological zealots in our land management agencies have been obstructing vital local infrastructure projects and running roughshod over the wishes and jurisdictions of local communities…” ~House Natural Resources Chair, Tom McClintock~   by Marjorie Haun The transfer of tracts of federally-controlled lands to […]

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Utah takes steps to advance local stewardship of lands within the state

Public land ranchers won’t have to worry about their grazing fees skyrocketing or their allotments being sold to developers — if and when Utah gains title to millions of public acres from the U.S. government. Brian Maffly Salt Lake Tribune Prepping to gain control of thousands of acres of public land, Utah lawmakers create ‘Department of Land Management’ Public land […]

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Cliven Bundy’s ideas about public lands management reflected in recent legislation

“Disarm the National Park Service,” the recalcitrant cowboy cried in a video played in court recently, during the ongoing trial against six people charged as gunmen in the 2014 standoff in Bunkerville. A witness testified about the “unreasonable” nature of Bundy’s demand. But a Utah Congressman has introduced legislation that would remove the law enforcement function from the Bureau of […]

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Fact checking Utah’s corporate environmentalist exit

…the governor won’t be hurt. The Legislature won’t be hurt. The congressional delegation won’t be hurt.  In fact, they’ll be liberated. No longer will they have to tiptoe around, worrying about offending these tender souls who can’t win politically or in the court of public opinion, so they resort to boycotts and economic intimidation – that ultimately will not work. […]

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Oregon lawmakers step up to consider state authority over lands

Wilson and other rural Republicans pointed out that their districts are overwhelmingly composed of federal land. They said cutbacks in logging due to overregulation had limited their counties’ ability to fund basic services or protect against catastrophic wildfires. “We used to have a vibrant economy, with good wages and good places to work,” Esquivel said. “So much of that has been shut […]

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Zinke affirms support for unconstitutional federal control of America’s lands

Excessive federal ownership is not only illegal; it is also bad policy. Federal land management is subject to the constant buffeting of special-interest politics, and the effects on management can be dreadful. As Zinke conceded in his congressional testimony, the national parks are suffering from years of neglect. Throughout the West — including Zinke’s own state of Montana — you […]

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Poll: Utah ready to fight for state control of public lands

The question is should use of those lands be determined by federal land agencies – like the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service – or by state officials. UPD’s pollster Dan Jones & Associates finds in his latest survey that 55 percent of Utahns want state officials to continue their battle to gain control of BLM and forest […]

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Wyoming lawmakers consider future of lands stewardship amendment

On the other side are critics of the federal government’s bureaucracy. They note that it can take over a decade to permit grazing, mining, drilling and wind projects. Wyoming’s cut of that development is about $1 billion a year, money that funds schools and state agencies. This session, lawmakers must figure out how to close a $400 million shortfall in […]

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Addressing inequality of western states through locally-sourced stewardship

Federal land agencies have managed the West like a museum for years. This hands-off management approach has resulted in watershed destruction, air pollution, and forest and wildland fires. Our communities and the environment deserve better. States have the know-how and incentives to repair decades of federal neglect by tending to the environment like the garden that it is. FAQs complied […]

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Zinke: BFF of D.C. bureaucracies and environmentalist special interests

Once upon a time, environmental groups would purchase land for conservation. Now they conscript government to seize it. In 2011 the Fish and Wildlife Service agreed to consider the Center for Biological Diversity’s petition to list 757 species under the Endangered Species Act, which could result in hundreds of millions of acres being withdrawn from private use. Secretary of Federal […]

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