Recently Montana State Senator Jennifer Fielder, who is an active leader with the American Lands Council, toured the scene of the Copper King Fire in Northwest Montana with the United States Forest Service (USFS) and others. This is what she had to say about her firsthand look at the aftermath of the 29,000 acre burn, and efforts to make some good of the disaster:
"As we convoyed up a series of bumpy roads, every bend we rounded revealed a new glimpse into an eerie, endless sea of blackened forest. The light dusting of snow that morning created a stark visual contrast between each burnt tree and the snowy white ground.
It was sickening to see and smell so much devastation. Since that calm summer afternoon when the fire first broke out, many folks have wondered what went wrong. Who started it and why wasn’t the fire contained when it was small? Why were so many firefighters sent home just before it grew to astronomical proportions? What could have been done differently to prevent its spread?Read more
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” ― John F. Kennedy [Thanksgiving Day Proclamation, 1963]
As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving this week, we express our gratitude to God for the liberties and freedoms that we enjoy in this country. We are grateful for those brave and committed persons who have done more than just talk about their support for the Transfer of Public Lands, but have actually stepped up and given of their time and funds to help us keep the vital movement for responsible, locally driven management of our public lands moving forward.
For those of you who support our objectives but have not yet joined us, we ask why not? ALC is fueled by member dues and donations, so we would be especially grateful if you would join, donate, or upgrade your membership HERE today.Read more
It is amazing how far we’ve come isn’t it? 4 years ago, 5 county commissioners and 1 State legislator with 1 very big idea banded together and formed the American Lands Council (ALC).
Thanks to an incredible amount of dedication from countless members, volunteers, and supporters, we have ignited an unstoppable national movement.
The American Lands Council has educated millions, cultivated support of 1,000+ elected officials, developed a nationwide coalition of advocacy partners, and laid the foundation for a viable FEDERAL LEGISLATIVE PATH that protects public access, increases cost efficiency, restores accountability, and provides flexibility for State and Local governments in how our public lands are managed.
In addition to raising an army of unwavering State and local elected officials, we now have a Congress AND a President inclined to support reasonable Transfer of Public Lands legislation!Read more
Election Day 2016 saw huge and, in some cases, unexpected victories -- the foremost of which was the election of Donald J. Trump as the next President of the United States. While many underestimated his determination and ability to win, we never conceded that the election was the done deal early pollsters tried to make it out to be. Now that we know the real outcome, we at ALC are pleased to congratulate Mr. Trump and his running mate, the honorable Mike Pence, for their successful campaign and decisive victories. And we look forward to working with them and all Americans for the betterment of our nation!Read more
Transfer of Public Land Goals Reaffirmed at National Conference
By Jennifer Fielder, CEO -- American Lands Council
Don’t we all we want healthy air, water and wildlife, abundant outdoor recreation, and safe, vibrant communities? Wouldn’t it be good to manage our public lands with these priorities at the forefront of every decision?
Unfortunately, Washington DC’s out-of-touch style is increasingly blocking public access, allowing pests and wildfires to ravage our environment, and killing rural communities.
Last month, leaders from around the nation gathered for the American Lands Council (ALC) annual conference and, once again, unanimously reaffirmed support of ALC’s Public Policy Statement which “urges 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”.
The ALC Policy specifically calls for keeping public lands public -- NOT selling them as proponents of federal control like to claim. In fact, our extremely debt-ridden U.S. government can sell public lands now, and they often do. Our critics never seem to mention that.
To be clear, ALC is not advocating transfer of National Parks, Wilderness, Indian Reservations, or Military Installations. Our efforts are focused on improving conditions on ordinary public lands that are supposed to be managed for multiple uses, but increasingly aren't. And despite rhetoric to the contrary, it is exactly that simple.
HOW WOULD IT WORK: We are pursuing concepts for a federal bill that would provide a mechanism allowing States to apply for specific tracts of federally controlled land as they are willing and ready to care for these areas responsibly. Under this framework, States could apply for small-scale pilot project areas first and, if successful, seek additional tracts in the future. Existing valid rights and uses would be honored and special safeguards would be built in to preserve public access routes. Such parameters would ensure no loss of public access while allowing State and local citizens to have a meaningful role in policy decisions.
A legislative report in the State of Montana found that the federal government has blocked multiple use access on over 20,000 miles of roads on federally controlled lands, just in Montana alone, since 1995.
Now we have received word that the United States Forest Service (USFS) appears to have acted illegally in yet another attempt to keep the public out of public lands, but this time they destroyed parts of a nationally significant historic trail system.
The Board of County Commissioners in Lincoln County, Wyoming, responded by filing a legal complaint against the U.S. Forest Service and calling for an investigation. The complaint asserts unlawful destruction of the Lander Cutoff Trail in at least four separate locations. Additional damage in three more locations was discovered after the complaint was filed. Evidence clearly shows destructive excavation of the trail. The federal action came as a total surprise to state and local officials. According to the complaint, the USFS did not comply with federal law or consult with the Wyoming State Historical Preservation Office (SHPO) regulations as required by law.Read more
Everywhere you turn, misinformation concerning the Transfer of Public Lands (TPL) seems to be traveling through the media as opponents repeat rhetoric that has been disproven years ago. In order for the public to understand why we need to #FreeTheLands, they must first understand what it is and what it is not.Read more
One of the most difficult problems for communities to deal with when forests become overgrown, is the lack of water caused by too many thirsty trees. This lack of water has a devastating effect on those same trees, leaving them susceptible to catastrophic wildfires that destroy the very forests we are trying to protect
The Wichita Eagle recently released an article that highlights the need to keep trees and ground vegetation under control in order to protect the public lands we all treasure, as was proven in the recent Anderson Creek fire, the largest recorded wildfire in the history of Kansas. Read the entire article HERE.Read more
It was just 4 1/2 years ago that Utah Representative Ken Ivory passed HB148 The Transfer of Public Lands Act with overwhelming support in the Utah Legislature. What was then laughed at by opponents has found its way all the way to the top political debates in the nation...the race for the United States President.Read more
If a picture speaks a thousand words, the Oregon County Wildfire Documentary is a library in an of itself.
This excellent 20 minute film was produced by BakerCountyWilfire.org, which gives an up-close-and-personal view of the devastating wildfire that roared through Oregon just last summer...the causes and effects, as well as the frustrations of locals who are experts in the care of this land and know how to prevent such devastating fires, but are consistently prohibited by federal red tape and environmental lawsuits.Read more