I think we should retain public land for public use, but reduce management spending, perhaps drastically. I don't think it is being really threatened, at least not yet...
Most western states can't afford the cost of managing federal lands. Once these lands end up in the hands of the states it's just a matter of time before they are lost to us.
Look at CO. You have all these state school lands and you can't even hunt on them unless the lease holder lets you. Maybe you should try an initiative to change that. Even in MT, while we can hunt state lands, many are enclosed by private and hunting is restricted.
I've always felt that the Republican leadership used abortion, gun rights and religion to get our voted then screws us on economic issues.
I love to hunt, but not at the expense of almost everything else I can think of. Most antis, vegans, and other idiotic hugger types are liberals. Do you think they want to save public lands for hunting ? No ! They want to fill it with wolves and bears so there will be no need for hunters. Please !
When my family and I visited Mt Vernon this past spring it was very interesting to see what George Washington sacrificed personally to be President. Now days (exception of Trump) it seems they go into office as middle class and leave very, very rich. This is not how our government was designed to operate. Corruption on many levels. Just seems as a whole the Democrats are much more corrupt, and I cannot name any Democrat that supports my conservative values, therefore I won't vote for them.
Bob, I respect your position, but I don't understand it, seeing as you spend so much time hunting on public land. What if Kodiak, PoW, and where you hunt in AZ were transferred, then sold and you were thrown off your old haunts?
I think it's easier to take the position in AK because there's not only such extensive public land, but hunting is so much a part of the culture up there. It's not that way in the lower 48 and having come from CA, we're holding on by our fingernails and can see the writing on the wall that our way of life is threatened. Advocating for public lands in AK is totally different than advocating for public lands in the lower 48.
Under Obama they were designating "monuments" left and right on fed land. That's a half a line from National Park and the same rules regarding management. They can shut off hunting with the wave of a pen and disregard any public input. Maybe nice to look at...... but in my grouchy old age if i can't hunt it I really have no use for it.
Assuming the feds have hunting among their priorities is a misguided assumption. Ask Bob or any of the AK hunters how well the feds manage hunting there. Ask the folks in the wolf intro states how much love the feds have for the residents. Ask the ranchers grazing fed land for generations, some before it was even fed land, how wonderful the feds are.
Careful what one wishes for......
In all honesty, I guess I side more with the residents of these states who have to live there and see how they would want to manage it rather than folks who live a thousand miles away and at most visit a week or two a year, if they ever visit at all. They would be the first up in arms if these residents came to their state and demand that things should be run as they see fit......
While I don't vote republican or democrat, I vote Conservative....... I haven't seen a Conservative democrat in office for a good many years. If you can find one you best catch it and put it in the museum or something as the last one to have existed......
Lung$hot, 622 could help us here where I live. There are only two girls doing the USFS law enforcement for the entire ranger district. Which means there is no law enforcement. Deputy sheriffs are present, but can't enforce anything.
Last two times I called the district USFS office to report violations, I never got even a callback from my VM the first time, and a week later the second time after my local deputy prodded her. He knew about it but couldn't do anything.
Bob is right about one thing though. Reduce the size and scope of government, but that ain't very likely. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely !
One thing is very clear to me these days. Hunting will never be the same as it was in the late 80's when I started. I tend to enjoy that I can still hunt. Our numbers are declining every year. With the younger generation being taught the ways of the left. They won't want hunting when there adults.
Its like the social security issue. Now that I'm nearing the age to collect it, the easiest thing would be to ask younger folks to support me. Morally, I can’t lower myself to that level.
Still, I think the Federal Government should have some basic responsibilities beyond national security. To include the above public lands, but things like freeways, food inspection, etc. I just don't see the net negative brought about by the Federal Government handling these things. Have they done a good job? There's always room for them to do better and inefficiency is the rule. But we're not going to have a war without the government wasting a ton of money to win either. Some things are just going to have to be done by the government for the better good of the people. I want my public lands for me, but it's not just a selfish motive. I want them for my kids and for all Americans now and in the future to enjoy as well. It's ok with there being some perks to being an American and one of those perks is public lands.
For me personlly, on balance, anything that can be done to reduce the size of government is warranted. Freedom is far more important than Bowhunting. The greatest threats to my life, liberty and pursuit of happiness are 1) federal government 2) state government of Alaska, 3) combined court systems of the federal and state governments.
1. Federal Government Or 2. State Government
Some Republicans desire control be given to the state, that doesn't mean they are threatening hunting. If we leave it up to the Fed's are we guaranteeing its public hunting forever? Probably not. There are dangers with either option.
I will say I have much more confidence in my ability to change things at a state level than at the federal level though, but I'm from a "red state", so I also understand the concern of turning over federal land to a state like California - ouch! Good points have been brought out by many people and I don't really know what is the best option for us as Sportsmen - get the feeling that any politician will sell us down the river sooner or later - at the federal or state level.
The way I look at Social Security (I havent drawn it either) is that I paid into a government-managed annuity for the 50 years I was in the workforce. My private annuity payout grows at 7% (less fees) a year until I start drawing it at age 69. Then it will pay a guaranteed monthly amount until both of us croak.
That the government spent our annuity investment on grants to study why college girls have sex more often after drinking alcohol, instead of investing and amortizing it as would a private company, is another example of federal government corruption and mismanagement, just as they've done with public lands. That money should be there for us, not placed on the backs of guys like Ike to fund for us (keep working, Ike, buddy!)
Lib's keep wailing about any sort of privatization of Social Security. But if we'd invested that biweekly contribution as a private annuity all our lives, with professional managers working it instead of government hacks, the system would be solvent for as long as it exists.
Since Clinton, there has always been a Bill in "jeopardy" to propose this. Which was the Democratic essential to a god before Obummer came along. And, as TD stated, under Obummer, the liberal left, which is basically all democrat politicians from what I can tell, was STEALING OUR land at record rates with NM designations. I wander why this is missed so much by these brain washed democrats? You gotta ask yourself, what is the difference in whether it be sold or not, if you aren't allowed to hunt on it?
Little has been said DEMOCRATS about Obama's last minute ban of lead ammunition and sinkers on federal lands. He's THE democrat, yet his choir boy party lovers haven't said a flippin' thing about that, while telling you the dangers the Republicans pose. Surely they know about it since they are part of the group that is so concerned about hunting access. So, ask yourself this, if they aren't telling you that, why do you suppose that?
There are so many snakes in the grass. And, so many naive people doing the work for a much more sinister effort to steal from you what belongs to us all. I can not implore you enough to educate yourself on the organizations that claim to be working for you, before you give them your membership. MOST of the left leaning, environmental groups, posing as Hunter organizations, are funded by the same radical groups that are funding Hunting's biggest opposition. Likes of the sierra club, USHS, etc.... Look up their tax returns to verify that. It isn't a false claim. I'm not going to name them here. But, many here belong to some of them. That is plain sad and disheartening. Because when you point that out, they argue differently. Facts are facts. No matter how bad they sting.
So, it isn't a particular party. Nor, is it a majority of either party. It is a the actions of states that have these vast amounts of federal land that DEMOCRAT's have locked them out of profiting off of. No mining, oil drilling, logging, etc..... Nothing but hippie love and liberal preservation fits the political Democrats' ideas of what our lands should encompass. And, with the unlimited funding and their nonhunting friends lobbying with them, they have been successful in doing so for a better part of the last 3 decade's. So, they lock out any possibility for local economy's to benefit from these lands. So, many of the people want that ability back.
It really does go both ways. no matter what anyone or an special interest group tells you. You have an out front group and, you have a political group that is doing them same thing behind your back. So, we must be smart about this and not vote party or, be brain washed into a one issue candidate. Be alert. it is coming from both sides. And, be aware of anyone or any group that won't tell you that.
The is a happy medium here. We don't get to employ that because liberals don't know compromise. Nor, does our government know budget spending. So, hopefully with a business man in office that seems content to do what is right for America, we can get some of our people on these lands using responsible resource extractions methods to put these local economies back to work, to sustain income to offset federal management, and everyone gets happy. But, seeing how miserable Democrats are at compromising, fiscal understanding, and wanting America to thrive, I'm not holding my breath that will ever happen.
Retirement is good for you. You speak with such clarity on several issues lately. I always read your posts. Thanks!
With that in mind, I wrestled with this question of public lands quite a bit. Ultimately, I decided that the system of public lands and wildlife management we have had in the US the last 100 years or so is the best in the world. It's a model that has seen countless species brought back from near extinction, has allowed generations of hunters to hike miles of public land in pursuit of game, and has (when managed properly), allowed the profitable use of these same lands by numerous extractive industries, all while providing hippies and tree huggers places to kayak and commune with Mother Earth.
It's not a perfect system and has room for improvement, but I think we'd be foolish to scrap a system that has served us so well based on the uncertain hope that state politicians and big industry executives would provide us with a better one.
The concept that all management decision happen thousands of mile away in DC is a common fallacy that many have because they are not engaged in advocating for land management decisions that they care about. Most land managers for USFS and BLM grounds are members of the community where those lands are. There are public processes and plenty of opportunity to let your voice be heard on land management issues. Of course, with our federally managed land being managed for multiple uses, not everyone is going to get their way all the time. But the squeaky wheel gets the grease. If we don't show up, our voice will not be heard.
All one needs to do is look at the Elliot State Forest in Oregon to read the handwriting on the wall, if large scale transfer takes place.
By and large, I don't think that all Republicans have signed on to the transfer train. But it is part of their party platform and the threat to our access transcends political party. Sportsmen on all sides of the political spectrum need to hammer those who are in favor of transfer and affirm those Republicans who oppose transfer.
There are dozens of interests, uses, regional issues from coast to coast.... even basic constitutional states rights issues that are involved. This is bowsite. I would concentrate on hunting, it's sustainability on public land. State vs Fed.
I keep putting in.... but I haven't ever drawn any tags in Yellowstone. Pretty place. No hunting. Many if not most national parks I am aware of are no hunting. As stated, Obama signed in more land designated National Monument (the precursor to National Park designation) than any other president. Takes just a nudge to put them into National Park, as I believe they are in NP management already. That wilderness area you hunt? A stoke of the pen and it's on it's way to NP status. No pubic input, no public debate.
IMO you are in far more danger of losing hunting on fed land, literally by fiat from the pen of the wrong person..... than state land in say, MT. Eastern, midwest states, I don't know. But I do know if say the State of MT were to take away a big chunk of public hunting land from the public there, somebody would be swinging from a tree. What are the MT residents going to do when the feds shut down hunting in a public area by EO?
There is ZERO local accountability with federal management. The people needing to be hung live a thousand miles away. Just look to the wolf debacle to see it..... they want it.... they will shove it down your throat and tell you to sit down and shut up. Well, unless you are protesting a pipeline, but that is outside the "hunting" focus I meant to have....
Again,I like state local resident input. They live there. Have to make a living there. Raise their families there. It's kind of an important thing to me, a touchy subject.
It specifically lists hunting as one of the valuable and primary uses of public land that needs to be preserved and maintained for the public. It also specifically lists wolf delisting. It requests Congress to authorize the transfer of "certain public lands" to the states for management. For the civically-challenged, that requires a majority vote in both houses, overcoming a Senate filibuster, then signature by a willing president (who is already publicly on record as being against it). The Clinton-signed law on the books already calls for sale or disposition of "certain" public lands. Last time I checked, he was a democrat.
Also understand that a platform is little more than a collection of bones tossed out to appease each special interest group of constituents. Read the whole thing and it will put this land transfer scare into perspective. That will happen right after they get the anti-abortion amendment voted into the Constitution (something also in the platform...)
Then read the Democratic platform and see if you can find "hunting" or "wolf delisting" mentioned in there anywhere.
"The federal government owns or controls over 640 million acres of land in the United States, most of which is in the West. These are public lands, and the public should have access to them for appropriate activities like hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting. Federal ownership or management of land also places an economic burden on counties and local communities in terms of lost revenue to pay for things such as schools, police, and emergency services. It is absurd to think that all that acreage must remain under the absentee ownership or management of official Washington. Congress shall immediately pass universal legislation providing for a timely and orderly mechanism requiring the federal government to convey certain federally controlled public lands to states."
Well, I've never voted for a Democrat and based on the current party platform there is a good chance I never will. So I am certainly not advocating others do so.
But I disagree with this particular portion of the GOP platform. It's not the most important issue to me, certainly not enough to make support Nancy Pelosi and her friends, but it is important enough for me to contact republican lawmakers and tell them why I disagree. I don't think the sky is falling, I honestly doubt the GOP can gain much ground on this anyway, and I support other parts of their environmental platform.
I grew up in eastern NC where no land was public. At 14 I spent 6 months in north eastern Utah and could not believe the freedom I had to hike and camp and fish. I think the history of state trust lands suggests that if the western states take control of federal public lands they is a high likelihood of many of these 640 million acres being sold off.
I don't know about where you guys live, but here in my neighborhood billionaire corporations don't allow much access to their property. I live 5 minutes from a 4,000 acre oil lease; guess how many people they allow to hunt it? In my local Los Padres national forest there is a rather large section (including a nice campground) that is essentially landlocked. The billionaire corporation down in LA that owns the land the access road passes thru put up a gate 20+ years ago and now, many lawsuits later, the gate is still up and we cannot access "our" public land. I would hate to see companies like that buy even more land that is supposed to be public.
I think federal public lands should be wisely and renewablely managed for the benefit of all Americans (hunters, fisherman, hikers, extractive industries, ranchers, etc.) I think the federal government has done a pretty decent job of that so far. I think most Americans are proud of our public lands history and the GOP is backing a losing position here. I think states should manage their wildlife populations, and that include grey wolves and a Grizzly bears.
I might be wrong, but there it is.
Many of you apparently are not aware that the federal government has taken over fish and game management on ALL FEDERAL LAND in Alaska. On some ground, state regs are allowed to continue (at the fed's discretion.)
Further, under Obama/Democrat control, Dept of Interior has deemed (through regulation, not statute) that ANY state management action they don't like (bear baiting, predator control, etc) is forbidden on lands managed by Dept of Interior (National Park Service, USFWS, BLM.)
Reading the above comments, I see that BT Bob, TD and Jaquamo seem to have a good grasp of reality....!
Alaska may not be so different from the lower 48.
Those who support the Demons are being fooled. They are pushing Agenda21 and the sped up version: Agenda30. These are complicated so many people like to just blow it off but believe me they are real and the laws/authority to implement them are all in place, indeed so are they started.
Our children and grandchildren will NOT have these lands, either to buy or to use, if this stands.
Stay with me a minute. The Feds, using the F&W are currently taking lands which they intend to deny us use of in the near future. They claim you will be able to use them but when pressed you find out you will be expected to take a bus out of the megacity you reside in and picnic, then come back. They intend for us to NOT have privately owned land, motorized vehicles (to include cars, trucks, sleds, bikes), guns, fishing poles, etc., you may be able to LOOK at the land, if you are lucky. Further, in some lands they have promised this in and already taken this way they ALREADY do not allow any of what you and I want to do!!!!
I have been informed by lawdy of such things and done some research. If you go to the Silvio O. Conte Wildlife Refuge website and find the CCP section (conservation planning) you can see the list of towns they are taking to carve oiut a 7 million acre refuge that goes from the Connecticut Lakes in far upstate NH all the way down through MA to the see! It will restrict access to the entire Connecticut River watershed! It takes homes and yards as well as some great farm lands right through sizable towns!
Then go check the Umbagog Wildlife Refuge CCP. It takes the Megaloway Waterway down to the Androscoggin Waterway through ME to take another 2 million acres!!
This is NINE MILLION ACRES of land in the heavily populated regions of tiny states!
They may allow some usage by civilians, at least at first, but then who knows?
As many have pointed out, we can be excluded with the stroke of a pen, and I am sure we will be!
The only chance we hunters have of retaining land use is to bring the control down as close as possible to US. State government is better than feds, who have ZERO Constitutional authority to do this.
If you can buy some land from the government, GO DO IT, but if you are in the way of this agenda you will be giving it back, through eminent domain, like it or not.
This is the UN plan to force us into a controllable situation so they can have their one-world-government and before you tell me to get a new tin-foil hat, do your homework!!
The feds are going to take control of all the water sources and waterways, wilderness areas, mineral rich areas, and desirable farm land and WE are NOT invited to the party!!
They are using this issue to divide us and using hunters support until they get what they want and then we will be cast aside. Bet on it.
If you care about your children and grandchildren, FIGHT this and get the feds out!!
While there are areas that actually might benefit from State control, the fact of the matter is we would lose access in the vast majority of western states if this was to occur. State constitutions mandate these lands provide an economic return. If you don't think we'd lose access, it's as simple as doing some research on how much land transferred over to State control has been disposed of over the years.
Frankly, I think the fear of losing our guns is a bit overblown. I view the loss of public lands as a very real threat that only seems to be gaining momentum. It's not enough to make me vote anything other than Libertarian though. What I have been doing and will continue to do is write my Representatives and Senators and continue to support organizations like BHA, RMEF, DU, etc that are fighting for our public access rights.
Instead they talk about managing to protect wildlife, strengthening the ESA, and managing lands for cultural diversity. Not one word about the ability hunt and fish on federally-owned public land.
I would argue federal lands, even the National Parks System, could be sold subject to covenants or deed restrictions regarding their use. National Parks could be sold to conservation groups subject to maintaining the preservation or conservation characteristics promulgated by the National Park System. The point is to get management out of the hands of bureaucrats and into the hands of someone with better skills and motivations for doing a better job.
I know firsthand the actual value of federal lands. Talk about an investment yield on a poorly managed annuity like social security. Social security is simply a tax on youth to support the old. We old folks paid for those before us, we did not make an investment in the future. How many think it makes sound investment sense to invest with the government? It’s not an investment, it’s a tax on youth to support those you have already had a lifetime to accumulate wealth. One truly backward aspect of the social security system is that it encourages people to live an irresponsible life style. If you can’t support yourself by the time you’re 65 years of age, you’ve lived an irresponsible life and failed to save for the future.
The yield on federal lands is negative. As the ultimate owners of federal lands, I don’t think we should be satisfied with a negative yield. We need to tell the bureaucrats “you’re fired” and get someone to do the job more efficiently. Rather than cost tax payers every year, federal lands should be providing revenue.
They might disagree with everyone here on social political issues but they are your allies when it comes to conservation. Bernie Sanders really brought this group to light. Remember Bernie was against gun restriction. Definitely a socialist though...
If the rightie and leftie conservationists can get together on this one issue great things could happen. Then go back to fighting about everything else.
Problem is, many of those groups would just as soon ban hunting and fishing from the public lands. They are all for major wolf reintroductions and expansion of the ESA to further restrict use of public (and private) land. There is a reason why the Democrats removed that specific wording from their platform - to appease their anti-hunting segment of voters.
MY, my, how the rhetoric here is so one sided against the Democrat's .
Personally I haven't seen a thing by the so called righteous right wing of the Republican Party doing anything to help "WE" hunters !
Just a couple of week's or so ago the legislation to give Federal Lands to the states was introduced by a "Republican"
Thank goodness the bill, HR 621, was withdrawn thanks to the "COMBINED" efforts of Democrats and Republicans alike.
To blame one party for all of the challenges "WE" face as hunters and outdoors men is plain ludicrous !
I'm an outdoors man , a hunter, a fisherman and lover of nature for all of my life. And I advocate for our outdoor heritage !
If this gets me painted with the "paint brush" of no reasoning so be it !!!
Yes, i'm a Democrat and proud of it ! :^}
Seriously, WHO would EVER QUIT hunting because "they" say you can't?!? That right comes from a higher power than any Democrat or Republican. Some of you would give up too easy.
You don't even have to sell federal lands. Simply come up with management objectives for each particular block of land, Park, Refuge, Forest, Range Land ect....
Put public lands out for a competitive lease subject to management objectives. Let the wonder of free markets determine where lease rates should be and let each lessee manage the land. Conservation groups could bid on and manage Parks. I think The Conservation Fund would do a better job managing a National Park than the National Park Service does.
Hunting groups could bid on and manage huge blocks of public land. Does anyone think hunting groups, SCI, B&C or P&Y, might do a better job at land management than say the Forest Service, BLM, or the US Fish and Wildlife Service?
Rather than pay taxes to support land management. Lands would pay revenue back to tax payers and each lessee would implement fees for the use of the land. Those who would rather spend time in a Park, where there is no hunting, would pay for that privilege. Those who would rather spend time on hunting lands would pay for hunting privileges.
All the Dem. vs. Rep. rhetoric is just plain stupid when it comes to preserving public lands. There is not an accurate broad brush to paint either party with, but the finger pointing is getting to ridiculous levels. In the Elliot case, the Republicans are for selling the land because it no longer meets the 'profitable' requirement, but it's the Democrats who have sued them into a corner and nixed any chance at that profitability. Everybody is culpable...
NO, NO, NO! Because the pitiful amount of land these orgs could afford would invariably become the deep pockets buddy buddy approach to management (see example: Tortenson Ranch in NM). You may be one of the insiders that would have access, but not I.
"Management shouldn’t be by the government. The government only knows how to do one thing well, that’s waste money. "
Except the government still has to clean up the environmental messes, take care of the roads, and fight the fires. Basically what they do now, minus the revenue the broken system is robbing because enviros won't let them cut/drill/dam/plant etc. Instead of identifying that as the real problem and working to fix it, we're just going to sell it all off? Government needs to learn to fund themselves instead of always living on credit and false politician promises. If they sell the lands, they'll just piss away the proceeds, earmark the tax revenue for pensions and lawyers, and be broke again in 20 years. That's what will happen in the real world, because this isn't libertarian utopia. Because that is what government does. Not to mention the societal costs that the invariable developmental of pristine lands will bear.
Don't think we're going to agree on this issue, and that's ok. I think there is an Alaskan/Lower 48 divide here that plays into it too. I'm not that well informed about the Alaskan issues but I think this issue is rather different down here than up there.
midwest summed up my thoughts better than I can but I will add:
The federals government is inept at pretty much everything they do other than defense. After the destruction of our military under Clinton and most recently Obama, our military is so strapped that they are not near the force they should be. It is not the armed forces it is the bureaucrats that have destroyed their effectiveness. Federal lands are managed poorly....just like everything else the government does but unless their is privatized control with something like Bob mentioned, the Feds are much more adept at operating the lands than the respective states as they (Feds) can continue to operate the lands at a loss. People that have to make real budgets and don't have the ability to print money can't lose money perpetually.
If I know government the way I think I do, I bet Utah has already debt leveraged some of the "anticipated future sales proceeds" and probably have interest payments coming due, thus the urgency of their attempts. Gotta pay the pensions and lawyers, not to mention the bankers, taj mahal (or should I say tabernacle) government buildings and trucks! Spend, baby spend!
At the top you have the evil, authoritarian, elitist, progressive, leftists who think they know better than anyone else how to run things, including everyone else’s lives. A neighborhood organizer with socialist tendencies would fall into this group.
Second, is the group who are already addicted to entitlements, very difficult to break their entailment addiction. This group reflects the strong voting bloc leftist progressives have managed to create over the past 60 years or so for the Democrat party. The propensity to increase entitlement addictions is the premise upon which the Democrat party operates. Does anyone think Democrats would be promoting illegal immigration if they didn’t think most of those illegals would ultimately become addicted to entitlements and vote Democrat?
Third are simple minded youth who have been educated under the socialized public education system we currently have in this country. Unable to think for themselves, they believe the leftist mantra pumped into their heads from elementary school right on through their university years. These are the ones who've paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for a degree in a curriculum such as French Lesbianism. They might have a tattoo across their forehead expressing some progressive mantra and then wonder why they can’t find a job. We have teachers unions and that whole socialist bureaucracy to thank for the mess our education system is in.
I do agree our US military is a necessity. Although if a private army had the budget of the US military, they would kick the ass of our military. Simply because things like rules of engagement would be based upon winning rather than politics.
Likewise, in the study of economics there are things called public goods. These items typically don’t lend themselves to the efficient operation of a free market. The classic example is a lighthouse. The market has no way to preclude the benefit to those who don’t pay. Many public goods used to exist. Roads and other infrastructure components were legitimate requirements of the public sector. We can be thankful that technology reduces the number of true public goods regularly and at an increasingly faster pace as time passes. We can only hope that US society recognizes the evil government represents and places less and less trust in government to provide public goods. The private sector can provide those goods at far less cost, more efficiently and typically of far better quality.
Regarding cleaning up the environment, read "The Moral Argument for Hydro Carbons". .
Once they are gone, we will never get them back. This is a issue where compromise is not an option.
As far as the state of AK doing a better job, we don't even have the money to operate now so I don't know how they would manage more lands.
I agree with your above points in principle and I agree that some of your ideas. The problem is, your ideas are not the GOP platform. The GOP platform is transferring the lands to the states which basically is just one government to another government. Now, the state level is going to be better equipped in theory to manage local areas. But state's budgets rise and fall with the economy and the historical data show that states have a record of selling off their public lands over time. If the GOP has it's way with public lands, history tells us that 100 years from now, they'll be private property.
And screw the National Parks. There's several of them and they're largely highly visited and coveted areas that are not at risk of being sold to people that will turn them into their own private ranch. For the most part, we don't hunt the National Parks. It's the vast expanses of BLM and National Forest areas that are at risk. These are the areas that we hunt and are at risk to lose.
And again, I'm not talking about AK. Kobuk National Park is the biggest joke of a "park" that there is. It's basically just a giant "no-hunting area" to everyone except locals. AK is a completely different animal. Down in the lower 48, we have to hold onto our lands with tooth and and nail. We've already lost most of the east to private property and development just by nature of the movement of people and not protecting those lands to begin with. I don't want to see the Western US turn into the Eastern US.
I agree that almost everything the government does, it does poorly. But I seriously doubt any of us here are actual anarchists. Should we privatize our military? Would any of you rather have Black Water in charge of protecting America instead of the US armed forces? Should we have privatize our civilian police forces? The judiciary? I assume most of you agree this would be a bad idea. If so, then we can at least agree that, while the private sector and free market is better in most cases, there are at still some things that a government, operating by the authority and consent of the people, should be doing instead. I think public lands management is one of those things.
I'm self employed and loathe the government's meddling in the market place (beyond basic, limited issues such as contract enforcement). However, unrestrained capitalism (the fur trade and market hunting) was largely responsible for the near destruction of American wildlife. The government (at the state and territory level first in many cases, then the federal) stepped in and saved what was left. The elk you hunt in AZ and many other parts of the west exist because the federal government established YNP and preserved the population there, often against the wishes of local business and state politicians.
Did the government do all this alone? Of course not, many organizations (RMEF etc.) joined the effort. But do any of us think we'd have the wildlife we have today if the government had not passed Pittman-Robertson? Would private businesses have volunteered all that money?
We have the best wildlife and hunting opportunities in the world, opportunities that did not exist 100 years ago before the modern conservation movement (largely managed by the government). All of us benefit from a system that has been in place for nearly a century that has been managed by state AND federal government agencies.
To sit here today and say "the government sucks at managing land and wildlife, we should privatize it" seems a little shortsighted to me.
I mean, who ever drove by a mountain or national forest and said, "you know what would make that place better? If the government would sell it to Exxon and run the place for profit."
I'm not opposed to profit by any means, but I think our public lands and wildlife should not constantly have to be justified on a spreadsheet. Some things are intrinsically valuable. My children do not add to my financial portfolio, but they are no less valuable. Heck, from a financial stand point all they do is cost money. I'd put public lands in the same category.
EDIT: I shamelessly ripped those last two examples off from Steve Rinella.
Because I think fiscal issues are far more important versus social issues at the government level, I tend to vote Republican far more than anything else. Proud to say I've never voted for a Democrat for any office, ever. But, whenever possible these days, which isn’t very often, I vote Libertarian.
Larry, you and I agree, I don’t place any more confidence in State government than I do with the Feds, maybe less. I know I hold a very minority position on land ownership and my ideas have such a remote chance of coming to fruition they’re almost a fantasy in themselves. Albeit, private ownership of most land in the US would be the best scenario possible. I agree that strict restrictions on use would have to be implemented for various acreage with underlying management objectives in the form of covenants for a lease or deed restrictions if the land was conveyed in fee.
When I said I said I would prefer privatized control it was under this pretense which Bob noted. The fastest way for it to fail would be to give it to the states with no strings attached.
During his re-election campaign for MT U.S. House, Zinke positioned himself as a strong opponent of proposals to transfer American public lands to individual states. Zinke’s record on public lands transfer failed to match his rhetoric. In 2012, while running an unsuccessful race for MT Lt. Governor, he signed a pledge to transfer national forest lands to individual states – a position that matches both state and national Republican Party platforms. Since then, he has flip-flopped on the issue.
During his first term in the House, he voted against a budget measure that would have allowed transfer of two million acres of national forest lands. But six weeks later, he voted for the Self-Sufficient Community Lands Act (H.R. 2316), which would allow the management of four million acres of National Forest lands to be transferred to individual states, where gubernatorial appointees would have exclusive control of pubic lands.
Yep, that's exactly what the Democrats have in mind for their grand plan. Whether by designation (National Parks and Monuments, Wildlife Refuges with hunting prohibited) or by regulation (ESA misuse, EPA regulating outside the law), that's what the core constituents of the Democratic party want. You nailed it!
There is a reason why they specifically removed the words "hunting and fishing" from the official party platform....
Just like I said above, Democrats here saying the Democrats aren't as guilty as the Republicans, considering "blocking our use" of our private land. It is ridiculous to dismiss the danger they pose as well. Because people in both party's pose it. One wants control for regional economies. The other wants control to stop you from doing anything but preserve it. Preserve means you don't enter it. Unless they want to build wind turbines to generate electricity for California. Or, do as Clinton did and arrange the sale of BLM land to friends in Colorado.
Here's the real issue. This is a threat from both sides. Get the bucket off your heads. If you think Democrats intend to protect the federally owned and pubically owned land for us to hunt on, you are more dumb than naive. They only propose to take away every right you have to enjoy it. Which is worst? So, like midwest said, Lou and Spike Bull has tried to point out, and Blacktail Bob has stated several times, this is something that goes much deeper than what you think your party stands for concerning this issue. You owe it to future Americas to be more vested in this than to base it on a political party preference.
God Bless men
I'd wager that half of the state is owned by various timber companies. For the most part, they allow access to hunt, fish, camp, and recreate. 3.5 million acres are manged by a group called "North Maine Woods." It is kind of a group of land owners that combined forces to manage. You have to pay a fee to access it, but you are allowed to go just about anywhere, they maintain the roads and bridges, and have very nice campsites.
The only reason I mention it, is that it gives me hope if the fed and or states dissolved public lands, something like the North Maine Woods would ensue. Allowing people access to do what they always have done, and also managing the land to make a profit.
This isn't a big surprise. In 2014 the Republicans finally stopped killing the Sunday hunting bills. In 2014 Virginia was finally able to open up Sunday hunting on private land due largely to the votes of Democrats.
I'm not saying I like it. I'm saying that Republicans in Virginia aren't good for the future of hunting.
I still don't tend to agree with the selloff of federal public land. One thing it boils down to for me is that the land really isn't costing the taxpayer anything. We don't have a mortgage on it, or pay taxes that I'm aware. What does cost is the so-called "management" of the land.
I think we need to look hard where the money is spent to "manage" these lands. There are certainly some needs in the management plan, but a lot of items are simply wants, and a lot more yet is just fat that needs cut. If someone desires to have something, yet they can't afford it, they don't get it. Simple as that. Federal money for managing these lands should be treated the same way. I realize that is by and large a lost concept in today's society, and certainly among politicians.
- Feds profiting from the resources and using state resources and infrastructure to do so without an equitable "profit sharing" plan with the states. Edit: a "perceived" profit sharing plan, because states receive Fed money in the form of block grants for specific uses.
Fed overreach by the illegal "4th branch of government", the Regulatory Branch. Some examples: Feds not allowing harvest of millions of acres of standing dead beetle kill, which is now resulting in horrendous wildfires that affect the states In many ways. Feds forcing wolves down our throats, lying about the recovery objectives, and preventing states from properly managing them. EPA overreach everywhere we look. ESA abuse for political purposes that affects the states and the landowners.
When ranchers can't graze and builders can't build houses because of a mouse that many leading biologists agree is not even a distinct subspecies and in no way threatened (including those from the Denver Museum of Science who did the DNA tests), we have a bigger problem than just a mouse. The mouse is being used by greenie political hacks to hurt agriculture and stop legal carefully planned development.
Fed mismanagement by applying funds where politically expedient instead of where badly needed on things like law enforcement and wildfire mitigation. Obama's "stimulus program" built what we call "million dollar toilets" and amazing designer parking lots at little-used yuppie day hiking trails, while a million acres of standing beetle kill in the surrounding NF was ignored. Now those trees are falling across county roads everywhere, taking down powerlines, starting fires, leaving behind a mess for us locals to manage with our local tax dollars.
They're now saying those forests need to be logged and thinned, fast, but EPA regulations basically prevent it.
Heck, we had to work with four different federal agencies and their extensive permitting processes to drain, dredge and deepen a small 2 acre pond on private land below my cabin. Even the Army Corps of Engineers had to be involved. Feds (USFWS) stopped us from building a larger lake on private land - which the state required us to build for water storage - because some greenie girl right out of college found an old abandoned stagnant beaver pond that had a duck on it, so she declared it a "wetland" and single-handedly ended the project. We couldn't build a big wetland because of a small one.
No bucket on this head ! Neither dumb or naive !
I recognize the threat (s) from both the Democratic and Republican Party's !
All I have to do do is look, listen, and read to see and to hear and to read who has made the most attempts to " dispose of or sell off or give back to the state's " our National Lands !
The ridiculous rhetoric of this being a one party problem is absurd !
The rush to blame one party (usually) the Democrats is placing one's head in a bucket !
If it comes down to losing our Federal Lands to a "Preserve or Commercial Real Estate" what would be your choice for future generations ???
The threat isn't just against PETA, or Tree Huggers or Anti Hunting.
Our biggest threat is against those who wish to profit monetarily ($) from the National Lands !
That sir is the issue in a bucket ! :^}
My original BLM elk spot is now the property of a big ranch that charges $1000 a day to hunt. The owner who bought it shortly after Clinton signed the bill just happened to be a big Dem donor. Ahem... Every time I drive past and see the "No Trespassing" signs, I want to throw up.
Across the road is a big State Trust area that was partially purchased by the state from private landowners to open up access for hunters.
If the Dems and their granola-muncher constituents were so worried about this, why didn't they repeal the federal law when they had a super-majority and president in 2009-2011?
A mortgage has nothing to do with the cost of owning real estate. A mortgage may influence a particular individual’s ability to own real estate, but that cost doesn’t have any impact on the underlying value of the real estate. Value doesn’t change whether or not there is a mortgage on something. A mortgage goes with the owner of real estate. Sound management goes with the real estate. You're correct in saying it can be changed, but not overnight so it can have a very adverse impact on value.
If you own a house and let it sit vacant without collecting rent, it doesn’t matter whether or not you have a mortgage on the house. You lose rent either way. You pay taxes either way. In the case public land, it is correct that no taxes are paid. That is a cost to the local real estate taxing jurisdiction as a result of no revenue being generated.
Real estate still has value if you don't rent it to someone and let is sit. Could you increase value by renting, potentially even turning a profit, sure. Value is short term and temporary when you sell the land off.
Even the Federal Government requires an appraisal of real estate to be based on an economic highest and best use. Market Value is right now and economic means measured in terms of US dollars not some arbitrary concept of making someone feel good, not Bowhunters, future Bowhunters or even the kids of Bowhunters. Market value is based upon the economic concept of highest and best use.
Preservation for the future is not an economic use, its a pie in the sky concept typically promulgated by someone wanting someone else to foot the bill for something. If you want to preserve land for Bowhunting, for example, foot the bill and buy the land. If you do that you can use it for whatever you want subject to the governmental powers of taxation, eminent domain, police power and escheat.
Did the issue ever come up in 2009 to 2011 ? I truly do not think it ever came up.
However since there has been a Republican control of the House of Rep's in Congress since 1995 excluding 2009-2011, (20 of 22 years Republican control) why then has nearly all of the bills to give away / abolish Federal Lands proposed by Republicans ?
Where and to whom is their allegiance given ?
Politician's have always rewarded their friends and donors.
It is up to "WE THE PEOPLE" (voter's) to put / apply pressure on these politicians when they propose the giveaways of or sale of OUR National Lands.
To call them out , donate to and support opponent's, regardless of party or affiliation !
Burying our heads in rhetoric against a party, bemoaning the loss of a "honey hole" name calling i.e. granola muncher (Good one ) :^} does none of us any good !
I can recall not being allowed onto BLM Land because a few ranchers had it enclosed. NO ACCESS to get there. However they were grazing their cattle on the BLM Land for free.
If I'm not mistaken (please correct me if i'm wrong) didn't Clinton, open access to most or all BLM Land ? That ranchers can no longer deny you access to BLM land ?
The same bongo beating liberals fight logging and access to our public lands by instating monuments in places most will never visit.
Here's some history - in 1976 the FLMPA was signed into law. Congress made a deal with western states that they would accept continued federal ownership of the lands if the feds would manage them under multiple use and sustained yield principles, would protect existing use rights, limit wilderness review and consider the needs of surrounding communities in any decisions.
Many in the West believe the feds have not abided by this agreement, and there's plenty of evidence of that. The "Sagebrush Rebellion" was the first uprising when the feds started reneging on the agreement, but was not widespread. Then the hard left lurch by the Obama administration in the past 8 years, where he and his appointed agencies effectively and illegally "created" land use laws by bypassing Congress and unilaterally imposing them on the West, served as the tipping point. Some have said, "enough".
But public lands have been sold and traded continuously under the radar, and no Dems were ever concerned about it until now.
Big difference between "selling off" and managing. Leasing mineral rights and timber rights are not "selling off". And multiple use is not exclusive of hunting. Honestly much rather have multiple use land that I could hunt rather than land locked away in a jewelry box that you're just allowed to look at...... and some warm fuzzy feeling that it's there, even if you can't even take a leak on a tree.....
Again I like the idea of local control. Not some federal clown a thousand miles away who thinks man is the problem and needs to be eliminated from the equation. They don't live there, have to make a living there or send their kids to school there. But "they" are charged with "protecting" it. The people who have been there for generations.... they'll have to do something else.... that's not DC's problem.....
Where I grew up I remember when the feds shut down logging. Devastated the area. Literally devastated. And solidified the monopoly the timber companies and mills had on logging and lumber. (read: railroad companies) as private property was not effected. All because the feds came in and shut it down, for an owl that they now admit logging had little effect on. The owl was admittedly just a tool used. The feds shut it down and claimed they did it for the good of everyone. Done by people who didn't live there, were clueless to the area and it's people and the effect of what they did on people's lives. Either clueless..... or just didn't care..... not sure which..... flippin' owls STILL tanking...... the feds went back to a home where it didn't effect them.
Yeah, the feds have hunters best interests in mind..... right up until they don't. Then it's just a signature away. Just ask an old CA logger....
"We're from the government, and we're here to help....."
Oh man, the big oil argument, my eyes won't stop rolling, can't see straight enough to type a response yet...oh wait, here we go. Regulated oil drilling is an excellent way for states to make a profit off of state lands that are required to provide a return and therefore not have to dispose of those properties, logging is another. Happens all the time...
There is no unfettered access, no drilling without STRICT oversight, no drilling in wilderness areas or national parks. Any and all proposed drill pads are only approved after countless studies by every agency involved to determine impacts on wildlife and the environment. States and private land drilling are both subjected to the same rigorous standards.
The top 4 industries that contributed to Jason Chaffetz campaign last year were Pharmaceutical/health products (1), Law Firms (2), Internet/tech companies (3) Retail Sales (4). The number one individual contributor? Amazon. Maybe he wants to drill for hand lotion and skin cream?
Hillary Clinton was number two (I LOVE associating that evil old hag with "Number Two"!) on the 2016 donation list from big oil and gas, accepting $859,462. Duh. None of the Republicans you listed are even in the top 20.
Geez, where do you hysterical libs come up with this stuff? You need to turn off MSNBC and do some research on your own. It's no wonder Obama was elected twice. Low-information (and downright stupid) voters are the currency of the failing Democratic party.
Fact: The oil and gas industry net profit margins rank 114th out of the top 215 industries.
Where do you people come up with this garbage? Have you ever heard of fact-checking before spouting off?
Lou, Thanks for the history lesson. Happy the Dems were able to pass the FLMPA in 1976. :^}
Fella's the problem we have isn't with each other, (hunters) it's our "inability to recognize mutual foes" (politicians regardless of party) to our hunting privileges whether it be on National Lands, or on in a particular State. Along with an apathy in defending / promoting our position's on a constant basis. HB 621 being an exception. We collectively fail to meet with or express our issues verbally or written to our Representative (s). To hold our Representative's responsible for their failure to support or defend our rights and privileges.
The mindset of, "I need to defend my politics" has caused us, "hunters" to deteriorate to personal attacks and an overflow of testosterone and BS in trying to out-do one another.
Remember the wolf in sheep's clothing is still a wolf.
"Hello Mr. Chaffetz" :^}
As an involved citizen of the West, I believe that the illegal regulatory overreach of the past 8 years, when that administration bypassed Congress on a weekly basis and weaponized the agencies to illegally create land use "laws" that affect the states and private landowners while ignoring much needed management of our federal public lands, was the catalyst for the strengthening of this effort by SOME western Republican representatives. Many of their constituents are sick of Washington telling them what to do.
"Political Advocacy science" prevented the thinning of beetle-killed trees by falsely proclaiming they would burn slower than live trees. Now we have massive wildfires which drastically affect the states and the surrounding communities. Whistleblowers in the agencies now aren't afraid to admit the beetle-kill is a catastrophe in the making, and thinning should be accelerated, not prohibited.
It's a bipartisan problem (public land management in the West) and it will take bipartisan solutions to fix it. Given the current toxic climate in Congress that's not likely to happen, but we can hope...