Republicans move to sell off public lands
Posted by Webmaster (+9978) 4 years ago
Republicans move to sell off 3.3m acres of national land, sparking rallies

Land totaling the size of Connecticut has been targeted in a new bill in the Republican House, uniting hunters and conservationists in opposition

Now that Republicans have quietly drawn a path to give away much of Americans’ public land, US representative Jason Chaffetz of Utah has introduced what the Wilderness Society is calling “step two” in the GOP’s plan to offload federal property.

The new piece of legislation would direct the interior secretary to immediately sell off an area of public land the size of Connecticut. In a press release for House Bill 621, Chaffetz, a Tea Party Republican, claimed that the 3.3m acres of national land, maintained by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), served “no purpose for taxpayers”.

But many in the 10 states that would lose federal land in the bill disagree, and public land rallies in opposition are bringing together environmentalists and sportsmen across the west.

Set aside for mixed use, BLM land is leased for oil, gas and timber, but is also open to campers, cyclists and other outdoor enthusiasts. As well as providing corridors for gray wolves and grizzly bears, low-lying BLM land often makes up the winter pasture for big game species, such as elk, pronghorn and big-horned sheep.

Jason Amaro, who represents the south-west chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, describes the move as a land grab.

“Last I checked, hunters and fishermen were taxpayers,” said Amaro, who lives in a New Mexico county where 70,000 acres of federal lands are singled out. In total, his state, which sees $650m in economic activity from hunting and fishing, stands to lose 800,000 acres of BLM land, or more than the state of Rhode Island.

“That word ‘disposal’ is scary. It’s not ‘disposable’ for an outdoorsman,” he said.

Scott Groene, a Utah conservationist, said the state’s elected officials were trying to “seize public lands any way they can”, without providing Americans a chance to weigh in. If residents knew their local BLM land was being threatened, said Groene, “I’m sure the communities would be shocked”.

Chaffetz introduced the bill alongside a second piece of legislation that would strip the BLM and the US Forest Service of law enforcement capabilities, a move in line with the Utah delegation’s opposition to all federal land management.

“The other bill hamstrings our ability to manage and ensure that our public lands are being kept safe,” said Bobby McEnaney of the Natural Resources Defense Council. “When you have those two combined, it’s a fairly cynical approach to how public lands can be managed.”

The 10 states affected are Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming. Residents can see how much acreage is earmarked for “disposal” in their counties by checking a PDF on Chaffetz’s website.


Read More: https://www.theguardian.c...t-chaffetz
Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+16559) 4 years ago
Just look at this thing. What the holy heck does "Everglades Ecosystem Restoration" on top of the evaluation form have anything to do with Montana?

Bat crap crazy. That is your Republican party.
Posted by Tim Miles (+468) 4 years ago
The list of parcels is twenty years old, before they start sales, it should at least be reevaluated. Also, with the oceans beginning to rise, the 'glades won't be dry much longer.....
Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+14662) 4 years ago
153 Tracts in Custer County. 45,000+ Ag. Estimated value is 4+ million.

[Edited by Richard Bonine, Jr. (1/31/2017 6:26:42 PM)]
Posted by Bob Netherton III (+2777) 4 years ago
Great way to pay for your wall, Gunnar.
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Posted by Hannah Nash (+2499) 4 years ago
According to the posted article-- it is expected that those lands will NOT be sold for their value or for profit. (Info on the cheap sale bit: http://www.businessinside...rks-2017-1).

Contact your representation!
Representative Ryan Zinke
Phone: (202) 225-3211

Senator Jon Tester
Phone: (202) 224-2644
Email: https://www.tester.senate...il_senator

Senator Steve Daines
Phone: (202) 224-2651
Email: https://www.daines.senate...mail-steve

Let them know what you think! And remind them that they are elected officials who REPRESENT the citizens of Montana. We are their employers, and we need to hold them accountable.
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Posted by spacekace (+888) 4 years ago
Does anyone know how many acres of public land are not accessible by the public? I do not, that is why I am asking. You can't just go off hiking through private property to go camp on a section of public land. Maybe they are wanting to sell off these sections that are not purchase tracts of land that would be more recreation friendly to the public... What good is hunting on one square mile of land?
Posted by Oddjob (+186) 4 years ago
Maps would certainly be helpful. The first question that I had for this specific proposal is; how much of this land is checkerboard? How much is goat pasture "islands" with no public access? If most of it is, it's land that, in it's present state, is useless for anything other than fires or litigation and needs to be disposed of..

Curious that none of these groups were whining when Harry Reid (D, NV) was padding his retirement, doing sweetheart deals with BLM land for his Las Vegas developer pals and Chinese solar tycoons, swapping valuable public land for flammable weed farms.
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Posted by Bridgier (+8962) 4 years ago

I DO hope you use protection when you make sweet love to these RW chickens, you can catch some NASTY poop out there...
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Posted by Oddjob (+186) 4 years ago

I certainly hope you don't have a nasty accident wandering around with those rose colored blinders screwed to your brain.

Harry skates on all this stuff because he has the kids do all the money work. No financial disclosures required. Harry just twisted all the necessary arms in D.C.


What a joke. It's the "Info Wars" for Liberals.
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