The U.S. Constitution Has Answers to
Mismanagement and Destruction of the People's Land
Many of us who live in the western states have been touched directly by the devastating wildfires which continue to burn out of control. The lives and fortunes of thousands of people are being altered or destroyed by the destruction. The economies of huge areas will never be the same in our lifetime and hundreds of homes and hundreds of thousands of acres of beautiful forestlands lie in waste, no more to be visited and enjoyed as recreational areas or summer or year-round residences, and no more to be the means of livelihood for thousands of families.
There will be much debate about who or what is at fault and what should be done in the future. Business blames environmentalists and environmentalists blame business. Politicians get into the act on one side or the other. It is as though no one has really come up with the best answer yet and so we must keep searching and talking.
But for those students of good government who have studied the Founders' formula for "a perfect union" and for "domestic tranquility", the answer is ringing ever so loudly in our ears. It is an answer so profound yet so powerful, so obvious yet so silent, that the loud and the boisterous, the proud and the philosophers, seem to pass over it with disdain or just neglect. The answer, the simple answer, lies within the paragraphs of the Constitution of the United States . Once again, the Founders had the answer 200 years ago to another crucial modern-day problem.
as published by the National Center for Constitutional Studies
American Lands Council supports the Transfer of Public Lands process founded in the Constitution, and which is urgently needed to address excessive federal ownership and mismanagement of lands, and the destruction resulting from it.
Please refer to American Lands Council
Ratified by unanimous consent Oct 9, 2014 at ALC Multi-State Workshop
Salt Lake City, UT and Oct 20, 2014 by American Lands Council Board of Directors.
1. WE URGE THE TIMELY AND ORDERLY TRANSFER OF FEDERAL PUBLIC LANDS TO WILLING STATES FOR LOCAL CONTROL THAT WILL PROVIDE BETTER PUBLIC ACCESS, BETTER ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH, AND BETTER ECONOMIC PRODUCTIVITY;
2. WE SUPPORT EXCLUDING EXISTING NATIONAL PARKS, CONGRESSIONALLY DESIGNATED WILDERNESS AREAS, INDIAN RESERVATIONS, AND MILITARY INSTALLATIONS FROM THE TRANSFER; AND
3. WE SUPPORT EQUIPPING FEDERAL, STATE, AND LOCAL AGENCIES WITH RESOURCES NECESSARY TO PLAN FOR A SUCCESSFUL TRANSITION TO STATE-BASED OWNERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT OF THE TRANSFERRED PUBLIC LANDS; AND
4. WE URGE MANAGEMENT PRIORITIES FOR THESE LANDS THAT WILL:
i. IMPROVE PUBLIC ACCESS: Protect public access, rights of way, and multiple-uses on public lands for all people including sportsmen, tourists, recreational users, subsistence and sustenance activities, and emergency access; and
ii. IMPROVE ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH: Reduce catastrophic wildfire fuel loads that threaten communities, infrastructure, watersheds, critical wildlife habitat, and our environment. Facilitate restoration of healthy forests, range lands, and waterways; and
iii. IMPROVE ECONOMIC PRODUCTIVITY: Secure jobs and economic growth through responsible natural resource stewardship and use including tourism and recreational opportunities; and
iv. RETAIN PUBLIC OWNERSHIP OF PUBLIC LANDS: Federal public lands shall become state public lands to be managed in accordance with state and local plans; and
v. IMPROVE EFFICIENCY OF WILDFIRE CONTROL: Provide state, local, and tribal government with adequate wildfire prevention and control resources and develop interstate/interagency cooperative agreements necessary to combat wildfires effectively; and
vi. INCREASE LOCAL INVOLVEMENT & ACCOUNTABILITY: Ensure state-based public land management activities are consistent with local government plans, policies, and objectives; and
vii. PROTECT USE RIGHTS: Protect all valid existing rights and multiple uses, and enhance the viability of compatible, land-based livelihoods; and
viii. PRESERVE CUSTOMS & CULTURE: Preserve and protect important wild, scenic, cultural and economic resources; and
ix. INCORPORATE FEDERAL AGENCY EXPERTISE: Seek to utilize federal expertise and research through employment and/or cooperative agreements; and
x. GENERATE SELF-SUPPORTING FINANCE: Foster compatible economic productivity to support essential government services such as local roads, utilities, emergency services, public health and safety, education, justice, and other civic functions while reducing tax burdens on citizens nationally and offsetting federal Payment in Lieu of Taxes and Secure Rural Schools funds.