The plan to take away our public lands has its best chance ever with this new Congress. Here is some recent news from various places.

In Utah, Ex-secretary of Interior Babbit denounces the land grab-

In Salt Lake City, Bill Clinton’s Secretary of Interior Bruce Babbit has denounced Utah’s role in the effort to seize U.S. public lands. He spoke at biannual Outdoor Retailers Show attended by 22,000 people in the outdoor recreation business.

Utah has passed a law demanded the federal government turn over the national forests and BLM lands to the states. It gave the federal government a deadline, which has passed. Utah claims it will be able to finance state management of the public lands by being more efficient and dropping restrictive rules to protect the environment.

Utah authorized a recently-released report academic report on the financing of state management. It concluded financing was possible using oil royalty revenue from public lands, though not be a wide margin. Since then, the price of oil has crashed.

Babbit said this isn’t like the sagebrush rebellions of the past. The new “ ‘Sagebrush Rebellion’ ” is far more sophisticated and well-funded than what we’ve seen before.” “These new players are easing resentful racist characters like Cliven Bundy off the stage,” Babbitt said. “They are bringing on political pros backed by groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), funded from industry sources and seeking to dismantle environmental regulation.”

“I can’t imagine the West I know as a landscape of locked gates, fences festooned with ‘no trespassing’ signs, streams blocked off to fishermen, and campgrounds and hunting lands put on the auction block.”

More on the story in the Salt Lake Tribune.

– – –

Hunters and anglers organize in Las Vegas against the land grab-

In Las Vegas, Nevada, another outdoor business exhibition, the 2015 Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show, is passing out petitions against the land grab. The Bozeman Daily Chronicle has a story today about the organizing by hunting and angling business from a Montana perspective. Ammoland has an article on the same thing. Sportsmen Mobilize to Stop Transfer and Sale of Public Lands. It is a defeat for the right wing land grab effort not to be able to get hunters and shooters to support taking the public lands. Right to bear arms does not translate into support for no access to land.

– – – –

A bit earlier . . .

When January came, Utah’s deadline to receive the public lands went by with nothing happening-
Jan. 5, 2015. Utah’s federal land take-over plan stalls. Spokesman-Review.
 

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides.

21 Responses to News about the land grab

  1. avatar monty says:

    The common disease is unsustainable human birth rates and consumption habits. What is the objective of this latest land grab? To produce more human tonnage. 315 million Americans is way more than our current land base can support given our extravagant lifestyle. We need fewer human babies and more fish, birds and other MAMMAL BABIES!!!!

  2. avatar Davey Simon says:

    If wilderness is closed to so many no one will support it. This is just the beginning and it makes me sad.

  3. avatar Theo Chu says:

    Sad that our politicians force us to beat this back over and over again. What a waste of both our time and theirs, and our money.

    • avatar Ed Loosli says:

      Theo Chu:
      Our public land preservationists repeated efforts remind me of the quote by Israel’s Golda Meier, when she said, “Our enemies only have to win once – We must win every time.”

  4. avatar rork says:

    Utah’s effort to “seize” is theater. My panties aren’t wadded. My coefficient of concern for national action is low for now too.

    • avatar JB says:

      Indeed. Utah and Idaho in particular like to periodically throw fits like this in an attempt to leverage more power over public lands. Honestly, I wish we could treat their politicians the way we would treat a child having a tantrum. “Time out, Timmy. You can come out of your room when you learn how to interact appropriately with others (and figure out that you can’t extort stuff from ma and pa).”

      • avatar skyrim says:

        We’re doing a pretty good job handing out punishments so far.

        Congress has 11 percent approval ratings, yet 96.4 percent of incumbent lawmakers were re-elected in 2014.

  5. avatar Yvette says:

    This is one issue I don’t see getting too far. First, with oil prices down it will be hard to argue they can pay with oil and gas. Yes, I know the prices fluctuate, but right now, people are going to be thinking about what is most current. Add in that hunters and anglers are against it and this land grab idea seems to be DOA.

    I see it more as chest thumping. One thing we do need to watch are incidents with riders giving our land to foreign companies like what happened in AZ with the Oak Flats.

    • avatar Larry K says:

      Yvette,
      Your optimism is uplifting but I lean the opposite way. You rightly state that logic doesn’t hold water for their issues for the land grab. However, one must remember logic has never been their strong suit and I don’t believe logic is in their minds, only dollar signs. While I’m at it, the next Bundy opportunity now must wait until Nov or Dec 2016. If further action against him is started before then it will only fuel the land grab morons. If we end up with a R-president in 2016 all out effort should go forth against Bundy before a new USA is appointed for Nevada. If Romney and his silk suited friends get in, he’s already on record saying, “I don’t know why the federal government has so much land out west”, I figure it will be curtains. I’m probably wrong again about the Bundy thing but I believe it should be micro-planned just like plotting the next close asteroid pass.

      Sure hope you are right Yvette.

  6. avatar Ed Loosli says:

    WILDERNESS Protection Proposed By Pres. Obama for the Arctic Nat. Wildlife Refuge’s Coastal Plain

    Try this link:
    http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2015/01/25/president-obama-calls-congress-protect-arctic-refuge-wilderness

    • avatar Barb Rupers says:

      Thanks for bringing good news!

      Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, for one, does not favor this proposal.

      http://www.nationaljournal.com/white-house/obama-proposes-to-declare-anwr-area-as-wilderness-20150125

    • avatar Larry K says:

      Ed,
      It is great news to read about, don’t ask me what I think the chances are…

      I do wonder just how a proposal such as this actually germinates within the upper crust of the executive branch. I really don’t think for a minute that Obama came up with it; most probably somewhere in the lower levels in Jewel’s department. But it certainly must have had some good backing to get across her desk and over to the Oval Office. Why wasn’t this done back when at least we had the senate? Seems it will be just more flag waving without any ground gain.

      • avatar Ed Loosli says:

        Larry K:
        You are correct that the Obama administration is way late on this Wilderness proposal — It has been in the planning stages for several years, but you are right that they should have done this a long time ago, when the Dems controlled both the House and the Senate.

        I think the plan is now to set the stage, so that when the Congress rejects Wilderness status for ANWR’s coastal zone, then Pres. Obama will have good grounds to declare the entire ANWR a new National Monument under the Antiquities Act, which will also ban oil/gas exploration and development. That is my hope anyway.

  7. avatar Amre says:

    Large carnivores are screwed if federal land is transferred to the states…

  8. avatar KJ in Montana says:

    Land grab news from Montana (is this the largest land grab since the Louisiana Purchase?)It looks like the entire central and northern Rocky Mountains:

    Montana Legislature Jan 31 2015
    “Viewpoint: Halting public land sales, studying land transfer next step for Montana”

    http://ravallirepublic.com/news/opinion/viewpoint/article_a44402bc-a991-11e4-8fb0-cf2750d9b29c.html

    US House Jan 30 2015
    “It’s time to take a stand on public lands”

    http://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/us-rep-zinke-it-s-time-to-take-a-stand/article_a75410e0-f808-58d9-ab2a-487a1a58237c.html

    US Congress Fri Jan 30:

    US Rep. Zinke: It’s time to take a stand on public lands

    http://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/us-rep-zinke-it-s-time-to-take-a-stand/article_a75410e0-f808-58d9-ab2a-487a1a58237c.html

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      KJ,

      It is the biggest land grab. It is all of the Western public lands except parks and preserves, such as wilderness.

      A lot of folks don’t realise that fact.

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Quote

‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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