Idaho sportsmen rally against the land grab at state capitol

Two hundred fervently oppose Idaho gaining control of U.S. public lands-

Saying that Idaho could not manage the national forests and BLM lands of the federal government, sportsmen who came to Boise on Feb. 12 were adamant they did not want the state to even try. Those rallying held that Idaho would have to sell off the lands, greatly reducing the freedom and access that Idahoans now enjoy.  Moreover, Pocatello resident Greg McReynolds from Trout Unlimited told rally, “Our public lands don’t belong to the State of Idaho or any other state . . . These lands belong to all Americans.”  McReynolds asked folks to “Imagine the people who would buy up our public lands.”

So far no land transfer bills have been introduced in Idaho, unlike Wyoming, Montana, and Utah.  The Idaho Legislature has been studying the matter for over a year, however.

Those at the rally were showing solidarity with all who use the public lands for fun — solidarity with hunters, anglers, mountain bikers, skiers, hikers, snowmobilers and more.

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More on this:
Idaho Sportsmen Rally Against Transfer, Sale of Public Lands. By Ted Williams.
Outdoor groups rally at state capitols against federal land grabs. Outdoors Blog. By Rich Landers. Spokesman Review.  Tells of the Idaho rally and a similar one slated for Feb. 16 in Helena, Montana.

Note that one story (from the Public News Service) said 500 sportsmen rallied.

Proponents of states taking the public lands say public lands retard the economy, but many think the truth is just the opposite. For example, “Montana’s public lands driving our economy forward.” Feb. 14, 2015. By Sarah Calhoun Guest Columnist. Bozeman Daily Chronicle.



  1. Kirk Robinson Avatar
    Kirk Robinson

    There will be a similar rally at the Utah State Capitol Bldg., in the rotunda, on Monday, March 2, 4:30-6:00. Conservationists from across the spectrum will attend and several will speak.

    Spread the message far and wide and attend if you can!

  2. Linda Horn Avatar
    Linda Horn

    A study bill was just introduced in the New Mexico legislature. I’m totally opposed to $100,000 of taxpayer’s money being used on something this stupid! With all our oil, gas, and mining it wouldn’t be long before the state sold as much land as possible to those who care nothing about it other than the money they can make.

  3. JB Avatar

    The phrase “political theater” rarely seems so appropriate.

  4. JB Avatar

    Mr. McReynolds statement needs amending. It should have read: “Imagine the big corporations who would buy up our public lands.”

    By the way, I grew up hunting large tracks of land owned by Consumers Power (a large energy company) in Michigan. Those lands were closed to hunting years ago.

    You would get a similar arrangement out West. First there would be promises to ‘do right by the land’ and allow access of all kinds. Then the company would slowly chip away at the access–citing liability of course–until it was completely closed.

    These fools in the West don’t know how good they have it.

    1. Immer Treue Avatar
      Immer Treue

      “These fools in the West don’t know how good they have it.”

      1. Ida Lupine Avatar
        Ida Lupine

        I’ve been saying that for years. 🙂

    2. Barb Rupers Avatar
      Barb Rupers

      I moved back to the Northwest from Maine to be where there is more public land.

  5. Yvette Avatar

    I replied to Elk375’s post on the open thread last night. He posted a Bozeman article about dark money group targeting hunters and anglers as eco-terrorists.

    This group is the lobbying firm of Berman and Company. Rick Berman has many ‘non-profits’ that are fronts for the right-wing agenda of his clients. It appears that Environmental Policy Alliance is an umbrella NGO with many other ‘non-profits’ in that section. Green Decoys is one of them. Apparently, Berman and Company use the ‘non-profits’ for the marketing campaign and these non-profits (his) then hire his lobbying firm.

    Here is the webpage for the group targeting hunters and anglers as eco-terrorists.

    Here is a list of the many

    I hadn’t heard of them before but it looks like they aren’t new. Here is an article in the Daily Oklahoman where Environmental Policy Alliance is attacking the real EPA on the proposed ‘Waters of the US’ rule. Again, they are labeling long standing groups like Trout Unlimited and Izaak Walton League as covers for far left-wing agendas.

  6. Ida Lupine Avatar
    Ida Lupine

    What the heck is going on in the country? Something I wonder about – how much money is enough? For these companies, it doesn’t seem like there is ever enough. I remember reading something years and years ago from Audubon – hunters and wildlife advocates have more in common than not; we need to protect our wild lands. I’m not big on hunting and have a very narrow definition of the word, but I sure don’t want to see massive destruction from the energy industry and development! You can’t eat or drink money, and we’d better think about such things as our water and salmon for the future.

    It’s -12F here today – brrrr! I haven’t seen this kind of cold in awhile. I don’t know how the wildlife can stand it!

  7. Thomas Murphy Avatar
    Thomas Murphy

    200 should have been every person in that state

    1. Yvette Avatar

      ++ Thomas Murphy

      When the dark money starts labeling hunters and anglers eco-terrorists like they have animal rights people and conservationists it’s time to join forces.

  8. vickif Avatar

    It gets harder every day to have any hope that this country will not become the Unites States of Crap Holes, riddled with waste and ugliness. The permeation of greed in this place, along with the permission of mass entitlements to corporations have seemingly begun the extinction of public rights, individual rights and enjoyment of life. I foresee a future where people wear chemical hazmat suits and gas masks to walk their children through concrete and oil to get to school. Wow, this really is becoming the “American Way”. What a pathetic testimony to devolving of the human race.

  9. Immer Treue Avatar
    Immer Treue

    I’m not familiar with the laws of the land, but let’s just say that Idaho took over public lands, then sold piece meal to the highest bidders, and some of these prime lands went to foreign nationals, who then prevented entrance to locals… And how the Sh!t storm would grow.

    1. margaret gregg Avatar
      margaret gregg

      “foreign nationals” is no more scary than big US corporations. Oil reigns supreme and those frackers and drillers don’t give a damn about quality of life or water quality and availability, not to mention ruining habitat for our diverse wild-life.

      1. Immer Treue Avatar
        Immer Treue

        No disagreement from me, but just think, someone from Japan(for example) posting no hunting/trespassing in an area that was once open access.

  10. Karen DeBraal Avatar
    Karen DeBraal

    Strange bedfellows.

  11. Ken Watts Avatar
    Ken Watts

    Is Trout Unlimited a reliable source of information? I have recently read some negative articles about their affiliations.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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Ralph Maughan