American Lands Council appoints new CEO
SOUTH JORDAN, UT --Montana State Senator Jennifer Fielder has been selected to head up the leading national non-profit organization that has been working to transfer federally controlled public lands to the States. Formed in 2012 by county commissioners, the American Lands Council (ALC) recently asked Fielder to step up as part of a transition plan which has founding President and Utah State Representative Ken Ivory taking on the role of director of the “Free The Lands” Project with Federalism In Action (FIA).
According to ALC Chairman Doug Heaton, the transition is a win-win. “Representative Ivory is an incredibly talented and dedicated man,” Heaton said. “It was his vision and tireless work that got legislation passed in 2012, fleshed out the legal arguments, and took the idea from a small town dream to a bona fide national movement. We are really pleased with how many elected
officials, resource experts, and civic organizations now support the transfer of public lands to willing States.”
Ivory said Fielder’s proven leadership on land management issues combined with a professional background in recreation planning, community enhancement projects, and decades of business administration make her a great choice for the job. “Senator Fielder is genuinely committed to improving public land management and revitalizing depressed communities. She has a tremendous knowledge of the issues and is a great choice to carry on the important mission of the American Lands Council.” Ivory will continue to serve on ALC’s Executive Committee on a voluntary basis. His new role with FIA will allow him to reach broader national audiences.
Fielder graciously accepted the added duties because the Montana legislature won’t be convening this year and she feels better public land management is vital for her district, state, and the nation as a whole. “I love the outdoors and have been passionate about taking good care of our environment my whole life. Like most people, I want to see a balance that restores common sense in how our lands and resources are managed. When local citizens and public officials who know the ground best are given a real voice in land management decisions, we tend to get better results. We all want a healthy environment, and safe, vibrant communities with
abundant outdoor recreation opportunities. Under federal control we are seeing just the opposite.”
Fielder, who chaired Montana’s study of federal land management in 2013, says Washington DC’s top-down management style has adversely impacted the environment and people all over the West. “Freeing our public lands from distant, unaccountable federal bureaucracies will permit us to tend our public lands much more effectively,” Fielder said. “It will also alleviate the growing number of conflicts we are seeing between federal land managers and local citizens. I have no doubt States can do a much better job of managing our public lands. We already do.”
A recent legal analysis prepared by Utah’s Commission on the Stewardship of Public Lands concluded that the U.S. has no constitutional authority to permanently control the public lands inside a state, or to treat some states differently than others. Presently the federal government controls over half of the land in the western States. Utah’s legislative commission recently voted to move ahead with preparations to take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.
FIA is a nonprofit public charity that educates on principles of local control, financial stability, and the proper balance between state and national governments. ALC is a member-supported organization, which works on improving access, health, and productivity of public lands through increasing local stewardship.
For more information on either organization, visit www.FederalismInAction.org or www.AmericanLandsCouncil.org