Ollin Magnetic Digiscoping System

Public Lands - The Congressional Football

Big Fin

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Well, once again we have a changing of the guard in the US House of Representatives and once again we have the same old BS about transferring public lands to the states; the back door way to dispose of public lands.

The new House Rules adopted yesterday allow for easier transfer of Federal Lands to state and local governments. Or to quote one of the promoters of the idea:

“Republicans are committed to ensuring that federal land management best reflects the needs of the local people closest to these lands, and this provision is not a giveaway to private industry like Mr. Grijalva is claiming,” a spokesperson for presumptive Natural Resources Committee Chair Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) told The Hill in an email.

It only applies to conveyances to other government entities and will ensure that the House can process legislation that will actually benefit the federal government by reducing maintenance costs and increasing tax revenues.”
With the dynamics of the current Congress, it might pass the House, but it would not pass the Senate. That said, it does illustrate another side of "To the Victor Goes the Spoils." In this case it is public lands that are one of the spoils.

And anyone thinking that there weren't important issues handed out as "spoils" when the other side was in control of the House, please do your research before commenting. But, since this forum is about hunting, public lands, access, and conservation, it is worth noting this change and how damaging the idea could be for public access.
 
Would you support the idea if the land transfer occurred with "in perpetuity" and therefore Representative Westerman's claim would indeed be true and make sense?
 
Would you support the idea if the land transfer occurred with "in perpetuity" and therefore Representative Westerman's claim would indeed be true and make sense?
looking at lands around me I think you’d see lands absolutely plundered and wrecked if they were transferred. You would see way more timber harvest, road construction, cross country atv use, mining and cows with little to no public input and ability to enforce anything outside of people cutting firewood without a permit, illegally grazing without a permit or mining without a permit.
 
Actually the State wouldn't have the resources to actually take over and manage the lands in states with massive amounts of federal land. So how can they manage to reflect the needs of the local people people actually want if there are no managers available.
 
Would you support the idea if the land transfer occurred with "in perpetuity" and therefore Representative Westerman's claim would indeed be true and make sense?

"in perpetuity" doesn't stop the local county and municipal governments from banning hunting and structuring much tighter land use restrictions on their new properties. it doesn't stop the state from having to hugely increase taxes and to likely have to utilize these new lands for "maximum profit" to help pay for their massive new and exorbitantly expensive portfolio.

plus, in this world of politics "in perpetuity" would likely be a hollow promise.
 
Would you support the idea if the land transfer occurred with "in perpetuity" and therefore Representative Westerman's claim would indeed be true and make sense?
Nope. Because states could do what Colorado does and what Montana previously did before the law got changed - Prohibit recreation use (including hunting) on state lands.

And, it is a cop out by the Congress to provide funding and oversight to better manage our Federal public lands. Congress has been too chickenshit to properly manage those lands and properly fund the agencies to do good management. Much of that is by intention with the goal to get people so frustrated that they want to dispose of those lands.
 
Nope. Because states could do what Colorado does and what Montana previously did before the law got changed - Prohibit recreation use (including hunting) on state lands.

And, it is a cop out by the Congress to provide funding and oversight to better manage our Federal public lands. Congress has been too chickenshit to properly manage those lands and properly fund the agencies to do good management. Much of that is by intention with the goal to get people so frustrated that they want to dispose of those lands.
What is funny about this then is the fact that the federal government doesn't properly manage the lands so their claim is that the states would do a better job. But what I'm hearing from everyone is that the states will actually do a worse job. So we want the lesser of two crappy options
 
What is funny about this then is the fact that the federal government doesn't properly manage the lands so their claim is that the states would do a better job. But what I'm hearing from everyone is that the states will actually do a worse job. So we want the lesser of two crappy options
I’d like to see a politician point out what exactly is improper management of public lands.
 
What is funny about this then is the fact that the federal government doesn't properly manage the lands so their claim is that the states would do a better job. But what I'm hearing from everyone is that the states will actually do a worse job. So we want the lesser of two crappy options
The lesser but also better funded of two crappy options
 
I’d like to see a politician point out what exactly is improper management of public lands.
More importantly, how does the land transfer of federal lands to Montana, or Idaho, or Wyoming translate to better management and continuation of the recreational opportunities for the public which will then pay for that management ... especially with the already huge fiscal challenges of sparsely populated states.
For those who support the states managing all those lands and related costs, how would you like your property and income taxes to jump exponentially ...and how would you like to pay an exorbitant fee to picnic at a public campground?
 
Nope. Because states could do what Colorado does and what Montana previously did before the law got changed - Prohibit recreation use (including hunting) on state lands.

And, it is a cop out by the Congress to provide funding and oversight to better manage our Federal public lands. Congress has been too chickenshit to properly manage those lands and properly fund the agencies to do good management. Much of that is by intention with the goal to get people so frustrated that they want to dispose of those lands.
Or in the case of Wyoming not even allow camping on State land. Would be just awesome to have a bunch of State land in Wyoming you couldn't even set up a wall tent on, a camp trailer, etc.
 

Camping Rules on Montana State Trust Lands​

  • Camping is generally limited to 16 days per 30 day period. (See, “Trust Land Recreational Use FAQs“)
  • Camping on land currently leased or licensed to another party is allowed, as long as you remain within 200 feet of a public road or navigable waterway. However, you are limited to just two two consecutive days (or one night). If you want to camp beyond 200 feet, you will be required to obtain a Special Recreational Use License.
  • Your vehicles can only be driven on publicly-owned roads (county or state roads). Off-road use is strictly prohibited.
  • Open fires are restricted to designated campgrounds. Fireworks are prohibited.
  • Camping via horseback requires a Special Use License.
  • Cutting or gathering firewood requires a Special Use License.
  • Hunting, fishing, or trapping requires a license from the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks.
 
Since I first starting working on this issue in 2011, I've never seen an actual plan of what the states would do to protect access, increase stewardship, manage, etc. We just get told over and over "trust us, this time it'll be different!"

Even the Utah study on this showed that recreational users would be negatively impacted here. Loss of hunting through development, loss of camping through increased state rules, etc all spell out that the transfer of public lands is a bad idea.
 

Camping Rules on Montana State Trust Lands​

  • Camping is generally limited to 16 days per 30 day period. (See, “Trust Land Recreational Use FAQs“)
  • Camping on land currently leased or licensed to another party is allowed, as long as you remain within 200 feet of a public road or navigable waterway. However, you are limited to just two two consecutive days (or one night). If you want to camp beyond 200 feet, you will be required to obtain a Special Recreational Use License.
  • Your vehicles can only be driven on publicly-owned roads (county or state roads). Off-road use is strictly prohibited.
  • Open fires are restricted to designated campgrounds. Fireworks are prohibited.
  • Camping via horseback requires a Special Use License.
  • Cutting or gathering firewood requires a Special Use License.
  • Hunting, fishing, or trapping requires a license from the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks.
These rules are pretty similar to all of NE for state lands though a bit more generous in some areas.
 
Emotionally, I want to agree that this is a bad thing. Logically, I’m not so sure it is.

Many make the argument that it’s good that the states own and manage their own wildlife (including the USSC, however personally I’m not sure that agree with this). If we apply that same logic, why we can’t expect the same of the individual states when it comes to land?

This also offers western states a great opportunity to dig out of the red and not be so economically reliant upon other states.
 
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Emotionally, I want to agree that this is a bad thing. Logically, I’m not so sure it is.

Many make the argument that it’s good that the states own and manage their own wildlife (personally I’m not sure that agree with this). If we apply that same logic, why we can’t expect the same of the individual states when it comes to land?

This also offers western states a great opportunity to dig out of the red and not be so economically reliant upon other states.

All you are doing is shifting the cost from the Federal Gov't to the states. There would be no cost savings without massive liquidation of public land.
 
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