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Public Lands - The Congressional Football

Buzz, let’s be real here. You are probably in the top 1% of individual consumption in terms western big game hunting (a “super consumer,” if you will).

You, Rob Shaul etc… rarely seem to be bashful about going after an even bigger piece of the pie for yourselves, and you have no problem flaunting it when you get it- please don’t feign surprise or outrage when people begin to get fed up by it. Nonresidents do not exist solely for the purpose of funding western states.

As much as we all love Hunt Talk, it is a bit of an echo chamber in the sense that most of us share the same passion for hunting and wild places- the rest of the world is not necessarily like that and we would be wise to consider how they are influenced.
 
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@seeth07

Perhaps it would be of benefit to us to know why you as a Midwesterner find value in these public lands.

I struggle with the idea that folks that participate in any kind of outdoor recreation don't see intrinsic value in the federal public lands system, but I recognize that I have hunters in my family that spew the "federal government was never supposed to own land" rhetoric.

I square that by the fact that I'm a hillbilly and won't claim that these family members of mine are big thinkers. I guess I think a little more highly of the average Midwesterner.
 
Aside from your "facts" about policy all I can say is that I find it rather puzzling how someone that's recreated on federal public land finds it difficult to convey the importance of same to others.

Unlike you I'm not willing to toss our public lands to states that have a history of liquidating those lands and over exploiting them.

In particular over something as petty as not getting a higher allocation of another states wildlife resources.

I don't threaten to support plt because Arizona or Montana won't give me more tags. I also care about every last one of the 640 million acres of public land. I don't want one acre transferred to any state.

Unlike you I don't need to personally utilize every last acre or extract something from it to realize the value of federal public lands. The value we must leave to future generations instead of threatening to toss it all away for selfish and short sighted reasons.

I'm not selective in my support of federal lands, nor is my support of same, conditional on silly shit like license allocations.

Our values and level of support are vastly different in that regard. Federal public lands are part of the fiber of who I am with intrinsic values that will be even more important to future generations.

I won't piss the legacy of future generations away for selfish reasons.


Your mileage, for whatever reasons, obviously varies.
I agree with everything you have stated that is in bold above. The underlined portions you have misquoted me (maybe you are thinking of @Treeshark who has brought up a few of those thoughts on this thread).

I honestly do respect you for your values and advocacy for public lands and wildlife. As stated before, I really am on your side of this issue.

Above you stated "all I can say is that I find it rather puzzling how someone that's recreated on federal public land finds it difficult to convey the importance of same to others." I hold the same values about the western public lands as you and I have indeed tried to talk with relatives and coworkers at times about the importance of BLM and National forest lands out west remaining public and it is a rather challenging thing for me to do. Not because I don't understand their importance but because my audience is so uneducated about the topic that I need to first spend 30 minutes explaining to them about what it even is and how it works before I can even get to the point of why it is important to stay as is. By that time they are usually bored and don't want to listen.
 
@seeth07

Perhaps it would be of benefit to us to know why you as a Midwesterner find value in these public lands.
Sure, will do.

Since I heavily utilize BLM and NF lands annually, the value I find in those lands will align and match very closely to any western public land user. They in general have very few rules in comparison to state "public" land and often are vast stretches of open public land to explore (especially when you compare it to the 10-100 acre parcels that are public in my neck of the woods). They are not crowded in comparison to my home state. They are often "wild" places with difficult terrain and/or vegetation. Again, probably matches the same as you or anyone else that has utilized these lands on this forum.

I struggle with the idea that folks that participate in any kind of outdoor recreation don't see intrinsic value in the federal public lands system, but I recognize that I have hunters in my family that spew the "federal government was never supposed to own land" rhetoric.
I'll try to help you with that struggle. Not every state has poor management of their state lands and the amount and quality of recreational opportunities is actually better on the state lands compared to the federal lands. Assuming it was financially feasible, i.e. no net change in my states budget, if I was offered the ability to determine whether or not the 1.5 million acre Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest was transferred to the State of Wisconsin to made into a State Wildlife Area I would take that deal in a heartbeat. Why? Because a State Wildlife Area is well funded through our state programs such as the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Fund and local conservation groups help get that matching dollar. On the federal lands, these improvements aren't happening because of lack of funds and support. So, in my opinion, I feel our State could do more with preserving and maintaining these lands than the Federal government can while maintaining the same use of these lands for public use and enjoyment.

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Buzz, let’s be real here. You are probably in the top 1% of individual consumption in terms western big game hunting (a “super consumer,” if you will).

Guys like you and Rob Shaul etc… never seem to be bashful about going after an even bigger piece of the pie for yourselves, and you have no problem flaunting it when you get it- please don’t feign surprise or outrage when people begin to get fed up by it. Nonresidents do not exist solely for the purpose of funding western states.

As much as we all love Hunt Talk, it is a bit of an echo chamber in the sense that most of us share the same passion for hunting and wild places- the rest of the world is not necessarily like that and we would be wise to consider how they are influenced.
Maybe...but if I never got to hunt another animal again on public lands my advocacy wouldn't change...not one bit.

All the legislation that passed regarding 90-10 was NO benefit to me. I'm lifed out of moose and sheep. I never will draw a tag as a result of that legislation.

In fact I testified against myself retroactively making the big 5 once in a lifetime.

Same as I testified against myself on the come home to hunt tags in Montana.

The fact I'm successful hunting doesn't change how and why I support or oppose legislation.
 
Buzz, let’s be real here. You are probably in the top 1% of individual consumption in terms western big game hunting (a “super consumer,” if you will).

You, Rob Shaul etc… rarely seem to be bashful about going after an even bigger piece of the pie for yourselves, and you have no problem flaunting it when you get it- please don’t feign surprise or outrage when people begin to get fed up by it. Nonresidents do not exist solely for the purpose of funding western states.

As much as we all love Hunt Talk, it is a bit of an echo chamber in the sense that most of us share the same passion for hunting and wild places- the rest of the world is not necessarily like that and we would be wise to consider how they are influenced.
I'm regard to your super consumer comment. I shot a moose, 3 elk, 1 deer, 1 pronghorn in Wyoming. 1 deer in Montana. I know guys in other states, including Wisconsin that shoot that many big game animals in a long weekend.
 
State lands in Wisconsin are absolutely nothing like the state lands out west.
This statement is accurate - but not really because they are "managed better" in WI. State Lands in the Western States are managed with completely differently priorities than eastern states. In the Western states, State lands are to be managed first and foremost to generate revenue (for public education).

Public recreational use on western State lands is either a lower priority (and a lot of cases, with a lot of restricitons) or not a priority at all to the point where recreational access is illegal unless access is leased from the state (e.g. here in CO). This is one of many gaps between how Eastern US residents and Western US residents think about State lands and why there are different concerns of land transfer to states. They are different animals.

Below screenshots from the CO and WI state land board sites for illustrative purposes:

Screen Shot 2023-01-11 at 2.54.33 PM.png

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Screen Shot 2023-01-11 at 2.54.42 PM.png
 
This statement is accurate - but not really because they are "managed better" in WI. State Lands in the Western States are managed with completely differently priorities than eastern states. In the Western states, State lands are to be managed first and foremost to generate revenue (for public education).

Public recreational use on western State lands is either a lower priority (and a lot of cases, with a lot of restricitons) or not a priority at all to the point where recreational access is illegal unless access is leased from the state (e.g. here in CO). This is one of many gaps between how Eastern US residents and Western US residents think about State lands and why there are different concerns of land transfer to states. They are different animals.

Below screenshots from the CO and WI state land board sites for illustrative purposes:

View attachment 260294

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View attachment 260293
Thanks for that research. It is maybe a better way of looking at what my goal was here with where I was going - that as you said "State Lands in the Western States are managed with completely differently priorities than eastern states". The snips you shared clearly show the different priorities. Since this legislation is trying to be passed at the federal level, that means that every state has skin in the game and there might be "selfish states" that regardless if they are representing Blue or Red might support this legislation because it would benefit the people of their state without thinking or caring about it drastically would impact residents of another state.
 
I don't disagree with you that a lot of non residents visit western states. Its certainly true. I also don't disagree with you that probably very few western state residents venture east to use public lands. Its probably a 1000 to 1 ratio, no doubt. But the reality is that the amount of WI plates you see at campgrounds and at trailheads is a very tiny, super small fraction of WI residents.

Grouse in MN
Skiing in the Green Mountains and the Whites
Hiking in the Smokies
 
I’m not a fan of the land transfer idea, but i do agree that the state typically manages it better than the feds. Case in point is here in Montana last year the state had a larger budget for 36,000 acres of weed spraying than the Custer-Gallatin had for 1.8 million acres. On the surface it seems simple, the feds are under funded, but that’s not the whole story. The feds have so much waste in their proposals that their budgets don’t go nearly as far. For example…last year I sprayed 604 acres for the state for 1/3 of the price that another contractor sprayed 570 on adjacent forest service. Same chemicals, mapping, equipment. The feds suck to work for and contractors charge much higher prices.

I’m not in favor of any land transfer, but the state does a better job of taking care of certain aspects of their land.
My experience differs. State school sections are often grazed to bare dirt. I'm very excited to see what happens to the new WMA in the snowies. I know the governor insisted the property be grazed. I strongly suspect in late August I'll be able to ride my mountain bike everywhere there as no grass just dirt. I'm pretty certain there will be no elk on my cameras I set up on that land.
 
My experience differs. State school sections are often grazed to bare dirt. I'm very excited to see what happens to the new WMA in the snowies. I know the governor insisted the property be grazed. I strongly suspect in late August I'll be able to ride my mountain bike everywhere there as no grass just dirt. I'm pretty certain there will be no elk on my cameras I set up on that land.
I agree however I guess we will see. Hopefully they take care of it. This is very nice land.
 
As an Alaskan that has lost rights to hunt on public lands because of my family's lineage because the federal government took away the rights to manage wildlife. On the lands within our state. Local cultures use different ways n means to get meat to feed people. Game management based on race.
Our state constitution says all resources within our state belong equally to all residents. The feds wanted a priority for certain folks. And took over management from our state. Now folks with absolutely no clue about ak are in political positions making decisions effecting us.
Hey just my way of thinking. We're all equal folks and we should always have equal rights. The feds keep playing political football with wild game the the guy living 10 miles down the road has the rights to harvest game that I don't. I kinda think that's not correct. Our resources belong to all equally and it's real simple
 
In a surprising turn in the public land political mess………
“The Biden administration released a long-awaited study Wednesday that recommends allowing a major oil development on Alaska’s North Slope that supporters say could boost U.S. energy security but that climate activists decry as a “carbon bomb.”

The move — while not final — drew immediate anger from environmentalists who saw it as a betrayal of the president’s pledges to reduce carbon emissions and promote clean energy sources.

ConocoPhillips Alaska had proposed five
drilling sites as part of its Willow project, and the approach listed as the preferred alternative by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in the report calls for up to three drill sites initially. Even as the land agency released its report, the U.S. Interior Department said in a separate statement that it has “substantial concerns” about the project and the report’s preferred alternative, “including direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions and impacts to wildlife and Alaska Native subsistence.”
 
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