This week, a rally was held in the Utah State Rotunda, attended mostly by members of so-called environmental groups who make their living by suing the federal government over mismanagement of public lands.
The County Seat TV took their crew to the capitol and interviews many attendees, asking the simple question, "what is your definition of, or understanding of the Transfer of Public Lands?" Listening to the answers of attendees reveals the rhetoric of fear that has been promoted by opponents to the Transfer of Public Lands, rather than giving people the facts so that they can make informed decisions.
University of Utah Professor, Dan McCool, who has debated ALC President Utah State Rep. Ken Ivory and Former Speaker of the House, Becky Lockhart on the issue of Transfer of Public Lands multiple times this past year, was the first to be interviewed, and continues to claim that "all the other states have realized that this is not a good idea...sanity prevails everywhere but Utah."
I wonder that Professor McCool would say if he looked at the list of the TEN different states who are currently running multiple pieces of legislation to bring about the Transfer of Public Lands? What would he say about the thirteen states that have or are introducing resolutions to support the transfer of public lands to all willing western states? Not only are western states involved, but eastern states are acting because they realize that they are being forced to pay for western states to not use their own lands, and recognize that the economy of the entire nation is being affected by failed federal policies.
Over and over again, people interviewed by The County Seat repeated soundbites they've been fed, such as: "
"All Public Lands are already open to all the public"
"The only way Utah can afford to manage the lands is to lease the lands to the oil companies"
"I'm afraid to see what might happen if they are transferred to the state of Utah"
"The state will have to lease out the land to different individuals and we're going to lose it"
"It's all about Money"
As always, we urge you to do your homework. Don't take a soundbite at its face value. And certainly don't let fear be your guide. See the truth. Let it be your guide. Only then will you be able to discern the difference between reality and rhetoric.
American Lands Council