by Melissa Anderson and American Lands Council; Alan Gardner
UTAH - Supporters of a movement by several organizations nationwide are headed to Washington, D.C. Jan. 19, to address what they say is an economic, environmental, and constitutional crises facing the nation.
The American Lands Council of Utah is joining The Heritage Foundation and Federalism in Action to talk about the management of public lands in the west.
The protest against the BLM in Oregon is only one example of the public’s fear of the loss of rights to public lands to the federal government.
The combined efforts of these groups is to educate public officials about the need for Congress to honor the same statehood promises and constitutional obligations given to states in the east. The groups want the federal government to transfer public lands to the western states as promised.
The special meeting in Washington is calling for a renaissance in America called #FreeTheLands.
Lawsuits are already pending in Utah and other states regarding these issues. as well as management and access to public lands by the people.
Alan Gardner serves on the executive committee for the American Lands Council. Gardner said they are not proposing that the land should be sold off to the highest bidder, but ALC wants the states to have control over the lands in the future. He said unlike many of the eastern states, Western states don’t want to sell it off, but keep it public and well-managed.
Gardner said, “We’re seeing land that’s being mismanaged. As a result of that, we’re seeing a lot of fires; access is being cut off; recreation inhibited; timber cutting in the forests [limited], and those kind of things. A lot of this is brought on by the environmental lawsuits.”
He said that environmentalists keep the cases tied up in courts through lawsuits which creates a big mess with land management and ties up the land. Gardner said that if they could get rid of federal restrictions and gain equal access to justice, it would allow the public to file suit against the government.