Here in the west, we want a healthy environment, abundant outdoor recreation, & safe, vibrant communities. But ‘one-size-fails-all’ federal control of our public lands is giving us just the opposite.
A recent email sent to outfitters and outdoor recreation businesses is attempting to bait recipients into swallowing an anti-Transfer of Public Lands message that doesn’t hold water. The sender -- Backcountry Hunters & Anglers (BHA) -- is a notorious front for left wing political operatives who pretend to care about sportsman but are actually quite averse. See www.GreenDecoys.com.
As they target outfitters and other recreation businesses, opponents of freeing our lands from federal bureaucracies are employing the same exact scare tactics they’ve attempted to foist upon the general public and outdoor enthusiast throughout the nation. And make no mistake, these operatives are well paid to weave their web of deception. For example, let’s take a look inside Back Country Hunters and Anglers. According to the website “Activist Facts”:
…BHA executive director Land Tawney, who ran the liberal political action committee (PAC) calling itself the “Montana Hunters and Anglers Leadership Fund” (MHA). In 2012, this pop-up PAC spent $1.1 million against Republican U.S. Senate candidate Denny Rehberg, who was challenging Democratic U.S. Sen. Jon Tester. The liberal MHA also spent $500,000 in support of the libertarian candidate as a strategy of drawing votes away from the Republican. MHA received several hundred thousand dollars from the League of Conservation Voters, a liberal environmentalist group. Tawney is also a member of the Montana Sportsmen for Obama Committee and previously served as the National Grassroots Coordinator for the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, which, like BHA, is an environmentalist front that poses as a hunter and fisher group.
Taken together, BHA’s funding sources and leadership make clear that the interests of hunters and anglers are the least of their concerns.
Front groups like BHA exist to attack conservative ideas and leaders, especially those who support the growing movement to free our public lands from one-size-fails-all federal control. The opposition’s tired old talking points are always the same:
- Transfer of federally controlled lands to the states is unconstitutional. (false)
- States can’t afford to manage the public lands (false)
- States will lock up or sell off all our public land (false)
- Transfer of public lands is just a fringe movement (false)
- Transfer of federal lands to states is unprecedented (false)
Opponents almost always attach deceptive, negative innuendo to their talking points, such as: It’s just a “terrible” idea, or it’s “fraud” or “tantamount to snake oil” to even talk about such significant reforms in how our public lands are managed. Name calling and other suppression of speech tactics are the norm deployed by opponents who lack facts or substantive arguments.
We need your help in setting the record straight because, should outfitters and outdoor recreation businesses heed the green decoys’ fear-mongering, they could very well limit access to public lands, harm the wildlife, and pollute the healthy environments upon which their enterprises depend.
Talk to the leadership of sporting organizations and businesses and tell them the truth about the American Lands Council and our efforts to free the public lands from federal control:
- The federal government, through its various agencies, is currently selling off and privatizing public lands, with little or no citizen input. Shifting to state and local governance of our public lands would provide transparency, accountability and give people a real voice in the decisions affecting our public lands.
- Transfer of federal lands legislation is hardly fringe, and is currently working its way through several state legislatures and the United States Congress. In fact, the majority of people in several states now favor transferring some federal lands to their states so the lands can be better managed and protected.
- The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), U.S. Forest Service, Environmental Protection Agency and Fish & Wildlife have shutdown thousands of miles of multiple use access routes on public lands over the past two decades. The BLM is known to fine hikers for accessing public lands. The U.S. Forest Service uses a majority of its budget fighting wildfires, instead of preventing them through proper vegetation management. Their poor fiscal model often results in neglect or total abandonment of campgrounds, trails, roads, and other facilities.
- State and local governments which manage their own public lands reap environmental and economic benefits, which is good news for ecosystems, wildlife and people. Read the research HERE!
- Transfer of federal lands to states has occurred several times during the history of the United States. The fact that the federal government has not yet released its grip over the majority of public lands in the West does not relieve Congress of the constitutional duty to do so. See the PDF report HERE!
- Transfer of Public Lands is constitutional, and is in fact, necessitated by the U.S. Constitution itself. It’s simply not fair or constitutional to treat some states differently than others. The Utah Transfer of Public Lands act was studied and ultimately endorsed by an elite team of national constitutional scholars. Watch HERE!
- Last but not least, wildfires on poorly tended federal lands, resulting from decades of politically-driven, “hands-off” policies, incinerate millions of acres of forests and grazing lands -- killing millions of wild animals, polluting countless rivers and streams, decimating communities, and destroying opportunities for countless outdoorsmen and women EVERY single year.
It is clear that Green Decoys are politically motivated front groups whose goal is to frighten sportsmen, hunters, and other outdoor enthusiasts into supporting leftist ideals.
If you are a sportsman, outfitter, business owner, or simply an American who appreciates the value and grandeur of our precious public lands and resources, tell everyone you know about the Green Decoys (www.GreenDecoys.com) and their fear-mongering snake oil. Those who oppose state and local governance of public lands either don’t know the facts, or they support strict and oppressive federal controls that work against outdoor enthusiasts and the people as a whole. Don’t let them continue to poison our outdoors way of life.