Idaho - Public Land Politics

Big Fin

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I get a ton of email and notices from Idaho. Since I don't live there, I am not always clear on how the topic is unfolding and how it lays out from a political standpoint. The last month, you Idaho guys have really ramped up the volume on those state politicians wanting to screw you of your public lands. From this link, it seems that the heat is now turning from the State House to your Congressional Delegation.

http://www.idahostatesman.com/2015/04/08/3739164_crapos-vote-on-public-land-transfer.html?rh=1

Fy1gD.AuSt.36.jpeg

Since I don't live in Idaho, I am wonder if the issue has reached a point that the biggest newspaper in the state finds it relevant to report a story of this length and turn the heat up on Crapo. Or, is it just trying to sell more newspapers?

Interested in perspectives from you Idaho guys (or in the case of this photo and article, gals). I will be in DC next week, testifying in the House of Representatives Natural Resource Committee. One of your ID Reps, Congressman Raul Labrador, who is quoted in this article, sits on that committee. Wondering if he will be supporting or opposing state takeover and reauthorization of LWCF.

Anyone have some insight to share?
 

smarandr

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Crapo, too, is frustrated, mainly that critics of the resolution say it supports selling public land, a position he emphatically opposes.
Bullchit. He's noncommittal at best (see the letter JRYoung posted on the Daines thread), and there's a couple of interviews out there where he seems to be in the pro-transfer camp. I think he's on damage control because he got caught with his hand in the cookie jar.


Since I don't live in Idaho, I am wonder if the issue has reached a point that the biggest newspaper in the state finds it relevant to report a story of this length and turn the heat up on Crapo. Or, is it just trying to sell more newspapers?
I think that what is happening is that sportsmen are wising up to the fact that our leaders need have more substance than crying "Obama's gonna come take your guns" to be a true friend to our cause. I've seen much more of the media calling out legislators/congressman/senators/commissioners on public land hunting and fishing issues over the last few months.

As for Crapo's re-election bid: He's on a roll with a DUI and a couple of very public anti-public lands votes over the last little bit. However, with the closed primary system now in place the article is right, his challenge will come from the right, not the left. That's truly scary when you consider who ran against Simpson last year.
 

brymoore

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Idaho sportsmen need to organize and vote out of office a bunch of politicians - Crapo, Risch, Simpson, Labrador, Moyle, Siddoway...

If we don't step-up, they'll make Idaho into Utah Part 2.
 

6speed

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I think they've hit a nerve and are hearing from a constituent base that is normally a lot more quiet. It has some of them a little worried about their political futures as it should. I don't ever trust a politician to do the right thing but there has been enough talk about this that it may help Labrador see what his constituents feel is important. I think it could help timing wise seeing Crapo taking this heat.
 

6speed

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This is a cut and paste from Labradors web page.

Natural Resources and Energy

I support policies to increase energy production in Idaho and make greater use of our natural resources. Right now, the federal government is blocking development of Idaho’s resources, depriving us one of the best ways to bolster our economy and create jobs. We need to empower Idaho’s communities and get government out of the way. As a member of the House Natural Resources Committee, I am fighting hard to pass legislation to do exactly that.

During this session of Congress, I have introduced several bills to put our people and our land back to work. These include the Idaho Land Sovereignty Act, the Self-Sufficient Community Lands Act, and the Grazing Improvement Act.

When it comes to energy, Idaho is well-positioned to be a leader in supplying America’s energy needs. We are best known for our vast network of emission-free hydroelectric plants, but we also have extensive geothermal resources, abundant carbon-neutral biomass, and growing wind and solar industries. We also have one of the leading research facilities for another form of clean energy - nuclear power - with the Idaho National Laboratory. These energy sources make Idaho a clean energy leader, and we should strengthen that leadership by spurring more research and production in the private sector.

I will continue to fight for legislation that removes federal roadblocks into energy development, in Idaho and across America. Affordable energy is critical to our economy, and making it more available should be one of our top priorities.
 

Pinecricker

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Its important to have a little context here Randy. Rocky Barker is not some one that most sportsmen in Idaho (or any one in Idaho for that matter) takes very seriously. In my opinion, Barker is prone to exaggeration, and he represents an extreme minority point of view. His articles tend to be recycled press releases from some of the more obscure, fringe environmental organizations in the region. The Idaho Statesman caters to the niche market of Ada county which is far, far more liberal than the rest of the state. Neither Barker nor the Statesman are a representative voice, nor even a relevant voice in Idaho.

As far as public lands transfer, there is a vocal minority here in favor of it, which tends to be made up of tea party types. However, majority public opinion is strongly in favor of status quo with regards to Idaho's public lands. Some of our more opportunistic politicians will occasionally pay lip service to those advocating for state control, but it never amounts to much and it never will. Even our most tea party leaning politician, US Rep. Raul Labrador, is not in favor of a land transfer to the states. He has advocated for some local input into management, which is an entirely different concept. What the state legislature wants is irrelevant since they have no actual power or control.

Our current governor, Butch Otter tried a land transfer initiative while he was serving in congress earlier in his career, and it was promptly jammed up his jam hole by his constituents. Its nothing more than a fringe movement by the tin foil hat brigade of the tea party. Barker is blowing it out of proportion, but it doesn't matter because no one is listening to him.

In the article, Barker seems to imply that there is some deep connection between hunters and the environmental community in Idaho, when nothing could be further from the truth. I'm fairly well connected in our sportsman's community here, and most people I know hate the environmental types because they are all strongly connected with the animal rights movement.

Personally, I am strongly in favor of habit conservation, and a huge advocate for public lands. I follow both issues closely, and frankly, I think most of the environmental organizations do more harm than good on both fronts. Back Country Hunters and Anglers represents such a small potion of the public here that its begs the question of whether they even deserve a seat on the Clearwater Collaborative.
 
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RobG

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That is pretty funny stuff Pinecricker... Barker has the respect and a following by the sportsmen who have a conservation bent. I wouldn't be surprised if the banjo crowd in the sticks who think BHA is doing more harm than good don't like him much though.
 

TheTone

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Biggest problems facing Idaho politics IMO is that its really a one party system and also largely a single faith system; also tends to really help your ability to get elected if you farm or ranch (or pretend to). I would guess that many voters in my area pay little attention in an election besides party affiliation.
 

smarandr

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Some of our more opportunistic politicians will occasionally pay lip service to those advocating for state control, but it never amounts to much and it never will.

Ever heard of of H265? It passed the house by an almost 2:1 margin. I don't know about you, but I call that more than a few opportunistic politicians paying lip service.
 

Pinecricker

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Ever heard of of H265? It passed the house by an almost 2:1 margin. I don't know about you, but I call that more than a few opportunistic politicians paying lip service.

The state legislature has absolutely no control over what happens to public lands. H265 is a giant exercise in blowing smoke. The tinfoil hat wearing, cricket stomping, spud diggers in Southern Idaho love to vote on these types of issues. It helps them out in primaries with conservative voters, but no one else really even pays attention because its meaningless. The state legislature doesn't get to decide who controls federal lands.
 

TheTone

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The state legislature has absolutely no control over what happens to public lands. H265 is a giant exercise in blowing smoke. The tinfoil hat wearing, cricket stomping, spud diggers in Southern Idaho love to vote on these types of issues. It helps them out in primaries with conservative voters, but no one else really even pays attention because its meaningless. The state legislature doesn't get to decide who controls federal lands.

Hopefully it is just an exercise in blowing smoke, but at the same time it shows where they stand on public land, against it. They should focus on real issues facing this state not appealing to fringe voters, etc.
 

smarandr

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The tinfoil hat wearing, cricket stomping, spud diggers in Southern Idaho love to vote on these types of issues.

The southern contingent doesn't have a monopoly on stupid. Two of the three senators that walked out on the Hindi prayer were from North Idaho. Unless of course you count Kootenai & Idaho counties as southern Idaho :D
 

Pinecricker

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Hopefully it is just an exercise in blowing smoke, but at the same time it shows where they stand on public land, against it. They should focus on real issues facing this state not appealing to fringe voters, etc.

True, and I completely agree there are far more important things that need their attention.

But, it is also not some new surprise. Idaho is dominated by agricultural interests, and the Sagebrush rebellion thing has been going on here forever. IMO - It is just being recycled as a political device to pander to ultra conservative voters. Everything eventually comes back into fashion.

To me this issue is analogous to the abortion issue here. The conservative state house loves to make noise about making it illegal, but every time they get close to actually doing it, it slowly becomes clear that most voters are in favor of keeping it legal. With this, don't forget that the most conservative elements of the party control the legislative agenda. Their shenanigans are not always representative of true public sentiment. The place is full of skunks.
 

Pinecricker

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That is pretty funny stuff Pinecricker... Barker has the respect and a following by the sportsmen who have a conservation bent. I wouldn't be surprised if the banjo crowd in the sticks who think BHA is doing more harm than good don't like him much though.

If you've followed Barker's column at all, you'd know that for the last 10 years he has been the bitch mouth piece for Defender's of Wildlife. This has made him pariah #1 among sportsmen in Idaho. There may be some wolf lovers in sheep hunter's clothing out there attempting to claim otherwise about him, but they look pretty ridiculous in such lame disguises. \
 

James Riley

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In the article, Barker seems to imply that there is some deep connection between hunters and the environmental community in Idaho, when nothing could be further from the truth. I'm fairly well connected in our sportsman's community here, and most people I know hate the environmental types because they are all strongly connected with the animal rights movement.

Boy, things sure have changed back in Idaho! 15 years ago the environmental groups I knew were chock full of hunters and the animal rights movement had little voice, few (if any) people, and no representation anywhere. If what you say is true, it sounds like the wedge-driving by the right has worked! I bet they are rubbing their hands with glee.

Or maybe the state is no longer Red as a beet, having been over-run by communists? I wonder if the sportsman's community is now viewed by the environmentalist as a bunch of skin-head, tin foil, bunker-building, racist bigots?

As to the balance of your post, forgive me if it reads like a "Nothing to see here, folks, keep moving" down-play of the situation so that public land advocates might let down their guard or stand back in any effort to hold their elected liars accountable. :confused:
 

quarterhorse

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Fin. Thanks for asking the question and the offer to help with the wishes of the residents of Idaho. I'm personally in favor of the federal land remaining in federal ownership. The state has plenty of land to manage already. I'll not say that either entity does it better than the other, but they certainly do it differently and with different objectives in mind.

I think the transfer of federal ownership to the state is a long shot at best, but it is not wise to remain silent while it is being discussed. Thanks again.
 

Ultrahunter

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So if Idaho starts managing federal land can we kick all the non residents out of the wilderness like Wyoming did? ;-)
 

JLS

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So if Idaho starts managing federal land can we kick all the non residents out of the wilderness like Wyoming did? ;-)

You could do it right now. It's a state hunting law and is completely separate from who owns and/or manages the land.

You might look in the mirror before you ask for it though. :)
 

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