A common misconception concerning the Transfer of Public Lands is that once a state takes over its public lands, it would be sold off to the highest bidder. But a closer look at how states manage their public lands shows a very different story. All throughout the west, state parks and public lands are managed for sustainable use, public access and environmental health every single day, as pointed out by Sutherland Policy Analyst, Matt Anderson.
This year the National Park Service is celebrating its 100-year anniversary. But as the agency enters its second century, our national parks are in trouble. A recent study conducted by the Property and Environment Research Center (PERC) noted that the Park Service has a deferred maintenance backlog of nearly $12 billion — an amount five times that of its last budget from Congress.
By Marjorie Haun
On June 10, Shari Dovale of Redoubt News, posted an article which included photographs of shocking damage done by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) to a forest road and trails in Northwestern Idaho. Dovale confirmed the report, as did the spokesman for the group which took photographs of the damage, the Northwestern Gold Prospectors Association. The details of the story are mind boggling.Read more
This article originally appeared on Dailysignal.com on 12/27/15
How Federal Missteps Make the Case to Transfer Public Lands to States, Localities
by Marjorie Haun
A forest fire on national parkland in Washington state in 2014 overtook a young black bear, seriously burning its paws. This little bear, which would gain world renown, crawled on its elbows out of the massive Carlton Complex fire on land managed by the U.S. Forest Service.
Later named Cinder, the malnourished and horribly burned bear was rescued and treated by wildlife officials and volunteers.Read more
This article originally appeared on OregonSheriffs.com on May 13, 2016
The Oregon State Sheriffs Association (OSSA) along with numerous other organizations have reviewed the newest management plan released by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for 2.5 million acres of O&C timberland here in Oregon. OSSA takes a strong interest in this plan because federal law provides that the primary use of these O&C lands is to be used for a sustainable timber harvest that provides a revenue stream for Oregon counties. That revenue stream is supposed to help these counties provide a variety of public services, including law enforcement. Quite simply, the BLM plan ignores clear law and proposes a timber harvest plan that will continue to place these counties in a fiscal crisis.Read more
Transfer of Public Lands now supported by most Montanans
By Marjorie Haun
With federal control of Montana’s public lands growing more contentious due to questionable decisions by the feds, a majority of residents are now looking to an on-site manager.Read more
Opponents to the Transfer of the Public Lands love to use the phrase "land grab" when referring to those who simply want Congress to keep their promise to dispose of the public lands into the hands of each willing western state, as was promised in each Enabling Act. They use this phrase to imply that there is selfishness, greed or power at the heart of the Transfer of Public Lands movement. They use it in hopes that you will never actually learn about the facts surrounding the western lands.
The Institute on the Constitution has created a very educational and interesting video that reveals that the only land "grabbing" going on is by the federal government, which seems to be taking over millions of acres, fist over fist, as fast as they can repay their political favors. This endless pattern of taking lands from the states is destroying more and more of our states' sovereignty and ability to self-govern. The inevitable consequences of this true land grab is that western states have lost much of their ability to protect the health, safety and welfare of the people.
The Center for Western Priorities (CWP) is launching a fear campaign in states across the West. We all know that federally-controlled public lands are increasingly restricted, increasingly inaccessible, increasingly under threat of destructive wildfires, and are the source of increasing conflict with local governments and law enforcement agencies. But CWP is using falsehoods and fear tactics to try to get you to embrace total federal control of existing public lands, as well as future federal land grabs in your state.
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers (BHA), a deceptively named environmentalist group, has exposed its true, radical intentions by proposing extreme restrictions for anglers, boaters, and others in Montana.
The proposal, called the “Quiet Waters Initiative,” seeks to restrict motorized watercraft on over 50 Montana waterways. An article in the Independent Record states:
“BHA presents recommendations to drastically restrict waterways without demonstrating any necessity to protect public health, public safety, public welfare, or to protect property and public resources,” [Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks] FWP says in agenda materials.
"The initiative claims safety concerns, yet Montana already has laws against operating a vessel in a reckless or negligent manner, and the initiative’s name implies it is primarily focused on eliminating the noise engines produce, the agency [FWP] says."
A few weeks ago, Wyofile.com published a hit piece in its op ed section that was intended to discredit the Transfer of Public Lands (TPL) movement. Thankfully, Representative Marti Halverson has been intensely involved in the TPL movement for years and was able to send the following letter to the editor of that publication to set the record straight. This letter has not yet been printed by Wyofile.com, but Rep. Halverson was kind enough to share a copy with us.
In response to Tory Taylor's op ed on 3/29/16, Rep. Halverson takes the time to sift through the piles of fiction to reveal the hard core facts that anti-TPL groups don't want you to know.
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.Read more