Is There A Modern Day Thomas Hart Benton In The Running?
When the lands in the States from Michigan to Iowa to Louisiana and to Florida were as much as 90% federally controlled for decades, a leader rose up who was relentlessly committed to freeing their lands from federal control. This leader was U.S. Sen. Thomas Hart Benton (D-Mo). He rallied those states to compel Congress to transfer title to their lands. Today, the federal government controls less than five percent (5%) of their lands.
Could there be a modern day Thomas Hart Benton in the running for president next year? Most of the Republican candidates for president have expressed support for the idea of more effective local care and management of public lands.
This week, while visiting with the Las Vegas Review-Journal editorial board, Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson said he would push for returning federal land to states to manage. His comments came after a briefing on public lands issues in Nevada where more than 80 percent of land is federally controlled by agencies such as the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service. "I would advocate returning land to the states," Carson said. "It's not like they're irresponsible people who don't care what happens.”
Whether we will have a leader like a Thomas Hart Benton in the Whitehouse next year depends entirely on YOU. Reach out to all of the presidential candidates (and all others seeking to represent you at the local, state and national levels) and encourage them to become relentlessly committed to freeing our lands for more effective local care that can unleash a national economic renaissance and halt the environmental devastation from one-size-fails-all federal bureaucratic management of our unique lands.
At its July meeting, the Utah Legislature Commission for the Stewardship of Public Lands voted to approve awarding contracts for legal and relations consulting services associated with obtaining certain public lands from the federal government. On Wednesday, December 9, 2015, at 9:00am in room 445 of the Utah State Capitol, the Commission will hold a public hearing to receive a report from the legal consulting services team, which include leading experts on constitutional law and experienced litigators. Here’s a description of the legal consulting services team member’s professional affiliations and accomplishments.