Public Land Sell Off

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Posted April 15, 2015 by Guy Eastman, Editor-In-Chief in Antelope

Public Land Selloff

70%. Let that number sink in for a few seconds before you go on reading this. Rarely, if ever do we find majority numbers like this, and yet this number is something that our elected officials need to remember. 70% of the hunters who venture to the West hunt on PUBLIC LAND!

In the 2014 hunting season 75,772 deer tags were sold in Wyoming, meaning that approximately 50,221 people hunted on land that is held in the public trust. There were also 22,463 Wyoming non-resident deer tags sold. If I had to venture a guess, most of them hunted on public land, possibly in higher percentages than the average resident western hunters.

In office conversation last year, we started to talk about the number of public land hunts that just the people and family members of our office went on. We stopped counting at 25 trips. That isn’t to say we hunted exclusively on public land, but we did spend a LOT of time there. Mike was able to harvest an 85 inch antelope on BLM land. Yes, they still exist and are available with a little effort and patience. Dan Pickar harvested two quality bull elk on public land and Brandon Mason was 20 yards from harvesting another with Ike. Scott Reekers harvested a public land bull and Dan Turvey’s wife harvested a mule deer buck on public land. One of my favorite elk tags to draw is a public land elk hunt that I am sure if you have subscribed to our YouTube channel or watch the TV show you have seen.

But that doesn’t even scratch the surface of what the real issue here is. Every year I have the luxury of traveling to multiple trade shows and events and hearing average middle class American’s dreams to hunt public land. The vast majority of people who don’t live in the West build points for many years, save money and pick their unit based on public access. If you don’t believe me visit our forum, the number of threads that have been started based on public access to this unit or that unit is staggering.

So let’s put this into perspective just for Wyoming nonresident deer hunters. If BLM land were to disappear, that would mean every unit that had National Forest access would see application numbers shoot through the roof and draw odds squashed to below single digits. Can you imagine all 22,463 nonresident hunters applying for tags in regions G and H! If you thought point creep was bad now, just wait until the middle class can’t afford to pay trespass fees for recently sold public land. That doesn’t even account for what would happen if we lost access to the National Forests we have come to know and love.

If you think that I am talking crazy, well think again. Senator Murkowski proposed amendment 838 to the federal budget that would pave the way for selling off BLM lands, national forests, or their direct transfer to states that wouldn’t be able to afford their maintenance. The amendments first reading passed 51-49 but it had to be held open for an extra fifteen minutes to get the necessary votes. Are you ready for this Montana? One of them was your own Senator Daines, whose public professions for defending public land are very well documented. Apparently not when push comes to shove, but then our Wyoming Senators voted in favor of this as well.

If you think you had problems with landlocked parcels of public land and corner crossing before this amendment, it will likely get worse if this amendment isn’t thrown out. This is not law yet as it would have to be passed in the final budget from both houses. This vote is designed to show the intent of the Senate moving forward.  Yup, they have the intent to sell public land and now Murkowski believes she has the votes to do it. What will stop her from pushing for this in the very near future?

Add in, amendment 747 from Senator Lee which proposes selling off federal lands to pay off the national deficit and this picture only gets more grim. Can you say shortsighted? Why not ask the forest service to expedite the logging permit process to generate long-term renewable revenue? What about getting rid of the red tape that we have to jump through for a filming permit, therefore lowering man-hour costs? I’m sure each of us could go on and on about the processes that could be improved in the federal government. Selling off the land is not the solution.

Public land is held by the public, real live people, not by a senator from another state who wants to make sure that his or her pet project is funded or their donor with deep coffers is satisfied. The owners of this land are the same people who have dreamed for years of taking their children on a public land hunt in the West.

If you want to make people fighting mad, kill their dreams and their plans. The hunter from the Midwest or the East who has been building points in my home state of Wyoming should be seething mad over this! The number one reason former hunters cite for giving up hunting is a lack of access to land. Take away the public land across the West where those folks planned to spend time with family and friends and you will have issues.

Public land and its availability is something that once it is gone isn’t coming back. Never again and never for our future generations will this land be available to step into and enjoy the way we have in the past.  As I write this I can’t help but think of the children I know that won’t have the opportunity to hunt public land in the future if we lose this battle. It only makes me want to roll up my sleeves and keep on fighting. I think many of you will feel the same way, contact your Senator today and let them know you are disappointed with their short sighted plans to sell off OUR PUBLIC LANDS!

We can still stop this madness, but it will take time and effort from everyone of us, reminding our elected officials that they represent us and not the money with agendas paying for their campaigns! This budget has only passed the Senate as a continuing resolution, so make sure that you talk with your House Representatives as well as your Senators to let them know you don’t approve of their “intent.”

GuySig

Eastmans 960 x 112 - 4 (1)


About the Author

Guy Eastman, Editor-In-Chief
Guy Eastman, Editor-In-Chief

Following in the footsteps of his father, Guy has taken up the reins and is now at the helm of the Eastmans’ Hunting Journal and the Eastmans’ Bowhunting Journal. A fine hunter in his own right, Guy has taken several trophy animals and has become an expert in trophy hunting as well.

62 Comments


  1.  
    Sourdough

    This is why I call myself a political independent. This is my Number ONE issue. This would ruin the way of life for most of us regular folk in the west.
    It’s not just hunting. It’s fishing, OHV recreation, hiking and just plain getting away from people will all be lost or reduced to level if inaccessibility that will be altering the entire culture of the west.
    The Author writes his comments with obvious conflicts. Party loyalty? Loyalty to politicians? Supporting industries who, when push comes to shove, will step all over you? People need to take another look and decide where loyalties and priorities lie. If those right wing politicians believe that they have your vote in the bank then our public lands and our way of life is lost forever.




  2.  

    I have read about this in quite a few western papers..This will ruin hunting in the west and is the last thing we need…Greedy politicians and donors are after this land to make a killing..This land belongs to :all: of us and I for one ain’t ready to give it away..




  3.  
    Jeremy Alvarado

    When i think of this and the many other things that politicians could do to crush our hopes, it sickens me to think of it. To think that we will only be reading about the once open free public land in our school text books in school. Soon our lives, our future will be decided for us like a movie. We are living an endangered way of life on the verge of becoming extinct. What am i going to tell my children?




  4.  
    Grant Alban

    When I think about my vacation time or any free time for that matter – all I think about is public land. In the winter, I cross country ski and snowshoe on public land. Spring, I bear hunt, turkey hunt, morel hunt, fish, bird watch – on public land, summer – the same, fall – hunting 100% public land. What would I do without it? Go to the movies? Join a softball league (no offense)? It is a very scary thought.




  5.  
    Buck

    As a libertarian I find this issue conflicting as well. I call Wyoming home but without public land access it would just be another place to live. One of my biggest fears is seeing the people loose access to this beautiful country.




  6.  
    Edward Wright

    There has to be an law passed that forbids sale of the peoples lands, or this problem will raise its head every othere cycle until the land is sold. We need a firebrand to bring this kind of law to a vote. Who ever it is must be dedicated. Personally I think Rand Paul has the fortitude, and I will email him and ask.




  7.  
    Rex Gould

    I can not belive how much we have lost and are losing in this country and around the world since 2008. we need to get this country back on track by letting our politicians and president know where we stand. I’m tired of the B.S. From a Very “Independent” Voter !!!




  8.  
    Brad Chambers

    Obviously the Republican Party wants hunters and fisherman’s votes, but disdains our interests.




    •  
      shootbrownelk

      Enzi and Barrasso the two Wyoming senators both voted for the transfer. They said it was best for Wyoming. Yeah, right. Best for Developers, wealthy ranchers/outfitters and the mineral extraction industry. They could not care less about resident or non-resident sportspeople who have no other alternative than using public lands. If the state of Wyoming ever gets title to these BLM and NFS lands, DIY free hunting will cease to exist. Same regulations as school trust lands…no camping, no fires and no access without lease holder permission and rules. G&F will be dealt a devastating blow. There will be a fire sale to special interests.




      •  
        power54

        This is part of the response I got from Sen. Enzi on this issue:

        “Federal control of public lands has long been a controversial issue. I believe Wyoming hands should manage Wyoming lands and I have secured specific land transfers of federal land back to local governments in the past.”

        In a state like Wyoming, transferring ownership of federal land is a recipe for disaster. I think its about time we fire ’em all!




        •  
          Wyo Resident

          That’s the same BS response I got. He mentioned good transfers where a small piece was identified for use as a shooting range. I can see that, but the transfer of all public lands to an entity that doesn’t have the ability to manage it and has industry and deep pocket ranchers at the fore front will mismanage! I was also told that the federal govt takes way too long to issue oil and gas drilling permits! Maybe it’s because they consider all public uses of the land and don’t cater to oil/gas.




  9.  
    James Hancock

    Thanks for taking a stand Guy, well said!




  10.  
    Chad Newman

    Its time to vote these bozo’s out of office. I would love to see a recall of the western Senators who voted for this asinine Amendment. As individuals we are merely an irritation, together we can change this. We need to organize and take these guys down.




  11.  
    Matthew Johnson

    My question is where is industry? Why does it fall on just hunting and fishing…? Patagonia can spend millions bitching about old dams. But where the hell are they now? Selling off public lands will lead to the collapse of there interest as well.

    And where the hell is the NRA? They can send me countless emails about Obama and how he is a threat. Last time I checked the bulk of the members are hunters…if they can’t hunt…who needs guns????

    They all suck.. Time to take it back




  12.  
    Jon

    I think it’s important to note that not a single democrat voted for this garbage and all but a few republicans supported the transfer of public lands. It’s time that the average citizen that calls the backcountry home begin questioning their party allegiance – because unfortunately most of us still vote republican.




    •  
      Brandon

      Well sure as hell don’t vote democrat?




    •  
      Bob Ducharme

      The very powerful Environmental lobbyists of the Dem party are busy locking up public land by turning it into untouchable Parks and Monuments, so there are forces on both sides of Pol. Spectrum working against US.




  13.  
    Kevin M

    We need to rally behind Guy in this massive effort to keep our national treasure, our public lands!!! While serving in the military I was stationed overseas in a country where there was almost no public land and what there was the public could not hunt on. Hunting was expensive and therefore gun ownership was limited eventually leading to the outlaw of guns in anyones homes and turning in of outlawed pistols an semi-auto’s. First access to hunting grounds then your guns, trust me there are many examples of this around the world, I lived it. Public land is truly a national treasure worth fighting for as Guy puts it not just for us in the here and now but for many generations to come we need to hand down this legacy of public access to our lands and not relinquish it to some politicians flying by in the night under their self preservationist model. This is for all of us, regardless of how you use the land it is there for our use. I for one will be writing all my politicians, Senate and House as well as the White House the more noise we create and the louder it is the faster we will put this tragic bill and mindset down. Everyone needs to rally on this the ramifications are huge!!! Thanks Guy for taking a lead role on this issue and hopefully we can also see articles to fight this battle in both your magazines, it’s that important.




  14.  
    James H

    Not only the loss of access for hundreds of thousands of sportsmen and outdoor recreationists, but what about all the other snowball effects that could come from this? Many small town economy’s rely on the money spent while using these lands. The western states game and fish depts will suffer dramatically from loss of license fees and with that comes greatly reduced wildlife management. Mule deer, moose, and sage grouse are all declining currently how are they going to fare if the states get the land then sell it off to the highest bidder? One argument I’ve read is that the states make money off the current lands they have and the federal government looses money on theirs. Well here’s an idea, fix it instead of just selling it off or quit sending money to countries that hate us to start with! In most cases the proportion of state to federal land is small and they can manage it somewhat. Multiply that many times and they can’t do it! As somebody else said earlier I spend the majority of my vacation time once or twice each year traveling west to enjoy OUR public lands and I feel this plan can have disastrous consequences. I have contacted all my representatives and I hope everyone else will too. Kudos to Guy, Eastmans, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, First Lite and a few others that are openly speaking about this and bringing more attention to it. We need to defeat this and need all the support we can get.




  15.  
    Chad Newman

    You guys need to realize that this is not a fight between the R and D. yes, the Republicans voted for this, but it was instigated by the Koch Industry groups – the ALC, PERC, and CATO. Our politicians have been purchased by the billionaires. First we need to get this Amendment off the books, then we need to overturn Citizens United and get these guys out of politics – vote out the senators who listen to big money and special interest. If it means you get some junk mail, who cares. Bill, if you want to send me your junk mail, go for it. I want our public lands to remain in tact. Don’t polarize the issue.




    •  
      bill fairweather

      Well Chad, you’ve labelled me as junk mail. Perhaps you could explain to everyone why the left side of the argument can’t honestly debate an issue without stifling the voice of anyone that disagrees with you. That in essence is Citizens United in a nutshell.

      Say hello to Land Tawney for me. Maybe have courage enough to fully explain who he is and the lies he’s built his career on.




  16.  
    Wilson

    The privatization of public lands was a major goal of the Reagan administration and the Yellow Ribbon Coalition. I would hate to see the western states become like Texas, where you have to pay a landowner to hunt, fish or enter their property for any reason. Here in Washington State the timber companies have started charging people to use their lands or closing them completely to the public. This land is your land, this land is my land and we don’t need to turn it over to those who only want to profit from it.




  17.  
    Doug Brittenham

    Gentlemen we are preaching to the choir here. Guy sounded the alarm (Thanks Guy!), its up to us to put the fire out. We can only do that by taking direct action that will be heard by those responsible. One e-mail or letter to our respective Senators/Representatives will never be heard. If however they are flooded with letters, e-mails, phone calls, newspaper articles, town hall meeting questions, protests, etc. we might be heard. I took time off work to research the bill, contact my representatives and stress my opinions. I also informed them of the unlikely coalition being built in opposition to amendment 838. Go online and look up who all is up in arms about this, it will surprise you. I am not well off by any means but I also have contributed financial support today in opposition to the supporters of this bill. I also sent my Senators and Representative a copy of the checks I wrote. Our elected representatives only respond it seems when it personally affects them. If you can prove to them that they lost your vote and contributed financially to their opposition, you might get their attention. They can probably outdo us on the money end due to who is really behind this bill (ExxonMobil & Koch’s brothers) but Citizens United did not give corporations a vote (yet). I am not saying you have to switch political parties to do this. Just (effectively) let your respective political party know where your beliefs and support lay. Think of it this way, for Wyoming, Senators Enzi and Barrasso just voted to ultimately eliminate all public hunting in Wyoming. They don’t think you will do anything about it.




  18.  
    CSButler

    Although I’m a conservative and would love to see a republican in the White House, I certainly can’t approve of selling off public lands.
    A well informed friend told me about this last year and he claimed both Ted Cruz and Rand Paul have signed on for this action to reduce the national debt – That’s obiously the easy way out and completely unacceptable!!! How about the freakin government take a pay cut?




  19.  

    I continuously vote Democratic because they support Unions. All my union co-workers vote Republican because of guns. Looks like the Republicans will screw us both!!!! $$




  20.  
    Robert D. Ruck

    Keep on electing more Republicans, who are nothing more then Koch brother puppets. America will be nothing but a land for the super rich. It used to be whatever affiliation your politics were, politicians did what was best for America, not just the filthy rich. R. D. Ruck




  21.  
    Tim Scheib

    All the politicians are corrupt. We need to keep an eye on all of them. Let your representatives how you feel, that does not mean they will support you because they are all smarter than us in their minds. They are supposed to listen to and reflect what we say but that is the farthest thing from what they actually do.




  22.  
    Jason

    I think most people agree we don’t want the so-called public lands sold off to the highest bidder. I can guarantee you, however, the states can manage their own land far better than the Feds. Don’t be fooled by claims the States can’t afford the transfer. State managed public lands generate $15 for every dollar spent while the Feds lose money. Ask yourselves why the bill in Montana expressly forbidding the sale of any public lands that are transferred was shot down. The enviros want the Feds to retain control of the public lands so they can use the ESA and other tools to lock us out read Eastman’s “of Wolves, Bears, and Birds” Earlier I called them “so called public” because each State’s enabling act and the equal footing clause demands the disposal of public lands. Pollard v Hagan SCOTUS 1845. I love the access in my home state of Nevada but the fact that some twat in Jersey, San Fran, or DC thinks they should have a say in how it’s managed makes my blood boil.




    •  
      Chad Newman

      Pre-determined results from selective data can make an argument for anything. Your claim is what the ALC, PERC, and CATO have released – I have read the studies and Randal O’Toole’s books – this is about the privatization of our public lands – its all about money. The natural resource agencies who will be charged with managing these lands have come out stating that they cannot manage the vast tracts of land currently being held by the feds. In Montana, the DNRC has less manpower, equipment, and infrastructure than one National Forest. Do some research. Check the budget of the BLM and FS in Nevada compared to the budget of the NDF, then compare the actual amount of land being managed by the agencies. You think the feds do a bad job? Who do you think will pay for the upkeep of the infrastructure currently being managed by the feds? yep, the taxpayers — do you think they will be willing to pay extra? nope. Privatization will be the next step. When was the last time you were able to park your truck on Ted Turners place and hunt deer and elk? I’m a Montanan, not some enviro from back east.




    •  
      Chad Newman

      What boils my blood is that a bunch of billionaires can purchase an entire political party. This is what the revolutionary war was fought over – taxation without representation – a fight for freedom against a tyrannical monarchy, only difference is now its an oligarchy – its what the second amendment was established for.




  23.  
    Mark Baker

    Take the money out of elections and things will change……..Teddy must be rolling over in his grave




  24.  

    Entire Article is based upon a lie. NO ONE is advocating selling anything

    When the State were created the “Enabling Acts” defined the Boundaries. ZERO carve outs for ANY Federal Land EXCEPT Indian Reservations and some Military Bases.

    Enabling Acts stated Each State would be on “Equal Footing” with all other States. Not the case in the West. Federal Government Control of State Land does not allow the State to make decisions over its Own Natural Resources.

    Stop the Lies and Fearmongering. No one is advocating selling anything. Even if they were it is NO ONE’s Business except the People of that State




    •  
      Chad Newman

      A lie? I am interested in hearing more about the lie. Now, as for the Enabling and Equal Footing Acts, there is a little more to consider. The Eastern States were granted statehood under their own rules; however, (and yes) the western states were given millions of acres, but the western states (now this comes out of the State Constitution of all western states) — “agreed as a condition of statehood to disclaim forever “all right and title to the unappropriated public lands lying within said territory, and that the same shall be and remain at the sole and entire disposition of the United States.” This language was part of the enabling act creating the states and was incorporated into their constitutions; therefore the state laws asserting title to those federal lands appeared to contravene their own constitutions.” This was the downfall of the Sagebrush Rebellion of the late 70’s.




      •  
        Chad Newman

        The Sagebrush Rebellion was largely in response to the Public Land Law Review Commission (PLLRC) review, and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA). now, this Act set the rules and regulations for the disposal/transfer of federally owned lands. It has all that pesky language regarding how the ownership of the land is not in the public interest, how the disposal would have to go through a public process, and that the recommendation for disposal be by the Secretary of Interior or Agriculture AND that the recommendation be based in science BEFORE it gets to the Senate or the President.

        Amendment 838 bypasses the public process, the Secretary of Interior/Agriculture, and science. It removes the checks and balances which our government was founded on and depends on.

        The states have come forward stating they cannot handle the transfer of such large tracts of land; however, certain factions of our state legislatures are trying like hell to get their hands on this land — hence, the sell off.




      •  
        Jason

        The actual purpose of the Nevada Enabling Act’s condition that territorial residents disclaim “all right and title to the unappropriated public lands lying within said territory” was simply to clear title, so the lands could be disposed of.
        This is the vehicle by which disposal was going to be accomplished. It’s not an obstacle to disposal. Nearly every State’s enabling act has similar language, some are identical.
        Managing our own lands and generating revenue from oil and gas leases and grazing fees would alow Nevada a secure future or at least a right to determine our own future.
        Anyone who believes a state can’t manage it’s own land better than the Feds….have you seen the national debt?
        I know everyone has been spoiled by virtually unlimited public land access, but is is the State’s right to manage its lands not the US government.
        And using Ted Turner as an example, awesome, the biggest liberal on the planet, and one of the biggest landowners, locked you out. Just check the news, “public” lands are being locked down every day. Roadless initiative, wilderness study areas…..
        Did anyone read this blog entry????
        http://blog.eastmans.com/of-wolves-bears-and-birds/?utm_source=Eastmans.com+Monthly+Newsletter&utm_campaign=8256496de9-E_News_August_208_19_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_aec388f646-8256496de9-9391162




        •  
          chad newman

          Roadless and Wilderness is not locking you out. You just need to get out of your truck or off the 4 wheeler and walk. As for the Ted Turner reference, try trespassing on the Koch brothers ranch in Montana — I really dont care which billionaire you choose — once its private, its gone. And I apologize, I didnt see the fine print in the enabling act. Can you provide a reference or is this an interpritation from a federal court?




          •  
            Jason

            I’m no lawyer and I don’t speak as eloquently as our forefathers, however, when the same language exists for nearly every state and yet the Federal Government decides discontinue the disposal of lands West of the Rockies it’s pretty obvious they wanted to control the resources in those states essentially rendering them slaves to DC.
            Proof of this is the fact that virtually all American enabling acts have such disclaimer clauses, going all the way back to the Northwest Ordinance of 1787.
            Consider Section 14, Article 4 of that watershed document:
            … The legislatures of those districts or new States, shall never interfere with the primary disposal of the soil by the United States in Congress assembled, nor with any regulations Congress may find necessary for securing the title in such soil to the bona fide purchasers. No tax shall be imposed on lands the property of the United States; and, in no case, shall nonresident proprietors be taxed higher than residents. (Emphasis added.)
            Or, consider Alabama’s enabling act, passed in 1819, a full generation before Nevada’s:
            … And… that the said convention shall provide, by an ordinance irrevocable without the consent of the United States, that the people inhabiting the said territory, do agree and declare that they forever disclaim all right and title to the waste or unappropriated lands lying within the said territory; and that the same shall be and remain at the sole and entire disposition of the United States …
            The State of Nebraska’s enabling act is also revealing, because its disclaimer language is identical to Nevada’s. However, only 1 percent of the surface of that state is today in the hands of the federal government.




            •  
              Chad Newman

              From what i have read, our leaders of the time saw value in the wild places and preservation of wildlife – the enabling acts were changed in order to preserve these lands. Interpret it as you like, but the constitution is the constitution, the 2nd amendment is the second amendment, and the enabling acts are the enabling acts. If there was no validity, the enabling acts would not have held water during the sagebrush revolution. There are plenty of states out there that have no (or very little) public lands. Maybe consider one of those. Lots of good hunting and access in the mid-west and back east.




              •  
                Jason

                The only “leaders in our time” who saw the “value in “wild places” were the Progressives, led by Teddy Roosevelt. Aligning oneself with the left is very dangerous as they do not support the 2nd Amendment OR hunting. And yes the Constitution is the Constitution and the government’s powers are enumerated, clearly spelled out in the 10th Amendment. Which brings us to Article 1, Section 8, Clause 17. That’s right, the Feds can’t own land just because of some arbitrary act such as the FLMPA of 1976. Some would even say wilderness and national parks are rightfully State land since they were not purchased with the approval of said States Legislature. Gasp! Anyway back to task. Thomas Hart Benton, a Senator from Missouri, led the charge in the early 1800’s to have what amounted to 90% of his state transferred to state control he was joined in that fight by Illinois, Arkansas, Louisiana and Florida who were also granted control of their “public” land.
                Again, the purpose for the “disclaimer” language in all the statehood agreements, east and west in one form or another, was merely in the nature of a quitclaim deed from the newly created states, giving the federal government clean, clear title to the public lands for the purpose of disposing of them faster and for the highest possible price to the benefit of the states and the nation as a whole. This “stubborn fact” is addressed in detail in the recent BYU Law Review article, “Public Lands and the Federal Government’s Compact-Based Duty to Dispose.”
                Also given that the statehood terms of California and Oregon do not contain the “forever disclaim” language that you cite as dooming western states to failure in being treated equally in the transfer of their public lands, maybe they will at least concede that the public lands in these two states should be transferred.
                Restrictive federal regulations and counterproductive management policies stifle local control and self-government in the west. As a result, public access to the federally controlled land is restricted, the health of our lands and forests suffers, and hundreds of billions of dollars in resources on federally controlled lands are locked up beyond reach.
                Besides being the fair and equitable thing to do, transferring ownership of the public lands to willing western states would benefit the country economically, as well as improve the health of our forests and ranges, and EXPAND recreational access.
                DONT BELIEVE THE BIGGER GOVERNMENT IS BETTER BULLSH!T
                Local management is better, always. And they aren’t going to sell it off. And we aren’t going to lose our access.
                But I don’t expect you to agree with anything I’ve presented here because I think you are a troll on this forum trying to persuade otherwise conservative sportsmen.




                •  
                  Chad Newman

                  Wow… “The only “leaders in our time” who saw the “value in “wild places” were the Progressives, led by Teddy Roosevelt. Aligning oneself with the left is very dangerous as they do not support the 2nd Amendment OR hunting.” Yet Teddy was a hunter, the Second Amendment has not been altered, and we are still hunting — and you need to remember what prompted the action of these “Progressives” – the bison and elk were eradicated from the plains and humans were doing what they do best. You are entitled to your opinion — its apparent yours will not be changed. You really should head back east for a while and live where all of the land was transferred to the states and was eventually privatized. You really don’t get a clear picture living in Nevada, nor do you appreciate the opportunities you have. Only around 30% of the lands in Montana remain in federal ownership and as I stated earlier in this blog, I will fight to keep them unaltered. As for Missouri and Illinois, the amount of land left is minuscule by comparison and so are the opportunities to hunt, fish and recreate. They may provide you a good place to relocate — Manifest destiny is a thing of the past.

                  The burden of proof is on those proposing change.




                  •  
                    Jason

                    I see your point and respect it. My point is that, although recreation is great and I would argue necessary, this country was not founded for recreation. It was founded for the sole purpose of property rights. For without this most basic right, freedom and prosperity cannot exist. Until Nevada has control of its land it will be neither free nor prosperous.
                    I think this thread has run it’s course. Later




                •  
                  Chad Newman

                  I also find it interesting that you discount the FLMPA, but credit a University Law School review as valid, that you provide no mechanism for which the states would be able to handle the increased burden of cost associated with the assumption of such large tracts of land, that you toss around the claim of increased “improved” access, and you use the Missouri and Illinois model to support your position. Your thoughts and arguments are strongly based in Randal O’toole’s Free Market Environmentalism model and mirror what has been published by the PERC and the ALC. I am not trying to “persuade otherwise conservative sportsmen.” People, conservative AND liberal, who value our public lands and want to ensure this resource is available for future generations will do so. You can’t put a price on this — if you want the federal land management agencies to manage differently, elect officials that support funding these agencies at an appropriate level. Transferring the land to the states will cost the taxpayers a fortune — oh, thats right, by extracting all of the resources we will be able to generate enough to cover the costs… yeah, and strip mining prevents forest fires too.

                  The position of the Koch brothers is NOT the position of the conservative sportsman.




  25.  
    Earl DeGroot

    Thank you Guy for fighting for our public lands! We need more people to know about this. Please consider devoting one or more of your TV programs to this issue.




  26.  
    shootbrownelk

    CW, I guess that RMEF, Petersen’s Hunting, Outdoor Life, Field & Stream and many more entities that are against this are totally wrong and YOU are right. Because you did your research? I suppose they didn’t research anything when they penned the articles and printed them….Wow! You have more faith in State control than I do.




  27.  
    Edward Byrne

    I love my every other year hunting trip to Wyoming, I have family there and we enjoy the public land, horseback riding and even riding mountain bikes on the many public area trails. Selling these national treasures would diminish what Wyoming is all about, the winters are hard and the folks who live there love their state. We love to visit as many times as we can every year and we bring our cash with us! Selling these lands can’t be good for Wyoming!




  28.  
    Gene Hall

    …our biggest problem w/ public lands is a bureaucracy appointed more for it’s ‘preference points than abilities’ that thinks it’s above the law, ignoring the mandates of numerous “Multiple Use” laws dating back to the 1960’s. If the ‘Responsible Agencies’ went back to ‘Best Management Practices’, viewing ‘Public Lands’ as a public trust, taking their stewardship seriously, instead of just a retirement shelter, managing for the best outcome for the lands, instead of the whims of a few small,vocal groups, we’d all be better served…





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