There has been a lot of publicity about the report recently released by Utah's Public Lands Policy Coordinating Office and not all of it is accurate. Opponents perpetuate the myth by trying to say that "we cannot manage our own lands without selling them off", knowing full well that most people will not actually read the report, but will instead believe whatever soundbites someone throws at them concerning it.
We believe that you are not "most people." We want and encourage you to read the report, or at least their summary of the report and get the facts for yourself. Below are some quoted excerpts of the report with references to where you can find them. As you read the facts, you will discover that not only can we afford to manage the public lands as states...but we absolutely canNOT afford NOT to!
PATHWAY TO A BALANCED LANDS POLICY
A Review of and Recommendations Based On
An Analysis of a Transfer of Federal Lands to the State of Utah
"the federal management of the public lands is 'Out of Balance.' The congressional mandate to manage the lands according to the principles of “multiple-use and sustained yield” has become mired in inefficiency, paralysis, and a predisposition to limited-use management. This immobilization has an effect upon State and local economies, private enterprise, recreational access, rural culture, and the health and sustenance of the very lands entrusted to federal stewardship.” Page 3
"The Study contains extensive useful information, and should be read as an integrated whole in order to appreciate the complex and inter-connected nature of the economic and cultural attributes of the public lands. Most significantly, it demonstrates that a transfer of the public lands can be an economically sound pathway to a more balanced public lands policy. The Study demonstrates that this can be accomplished without sacrificing the beauty of our State, the quality of our life, or the attraction of Utah to tourists and recreationists from around the country and the world.” Page 4
"The Study suggests some alternatives by which wildfire costs could be reduced or revenue increased to meet increased costs. Changes in fire suppression approaches and mitigation could allow for management at lower costs. '[L]and managers can actively manage forests and rangelands and regulate the wildland-urban-interface to make them less vulnerable to dangerous fires.'” Page 11
"The Study observes that '[s]ustainable management of resources uses such as timber harvesting and livestock grazing is compatible with healthy vegetation and normal wildfire activity. Harvesting, prescribed burns and preparedness can reduce the severity and cost of wildfire.'” Page 12
"Another section of the Study notes that access to roads and trails on the public lands is important for many recreation activities. The Study concludes that 'access to roads and trails would increase following land transfer . . . the state would likely be more permissive than federal land managers in this regard.'” Page 13
The FAQs at Page 23 are also very helpful.
To view and download the report, click here.
To view and download the summary, click here.
Thank you for taking the time to understand these issues and share the facts with all within your sphere of influence!