Tax Dollars Going to Land Grab

grizzly_

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I just found out that Cache County, Utah (where I live) gave $10,000 to American Lands Council, the group working to take over public land.

The following Utah counties also gave to ALC... Beaver, Box Elder, Dagget, Duchesne, Garfield, Iron, Juab, Kane, Millard, Morgan, Piute, Rich, San Juan, Sanpete, Sevier, Tooele, Uintah, Utah, Washington, and Weber.

(Not in Utah? See if your county gave money to ALC at: http://www.hcn.org/articles/the-taxpayer-money-behind-local-control-demands)

I will let you know if I get a response, but I urge everybody to write their county councils and let them know you are a hunter and you want public land to remain public. The way to beat this may be at the local level.

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Here is the letter I wrote to my County Executive...

Mr. Buttars, I wanted to quickly let you know how adamantly I oppose your donation of my tax dollars to fund this crusade. According to 2013 taxes, American Lands Council paid 50% of its income to Mr. Ivory and his wife, and after expenses about 10% was actually spent on lobbying. Thankfully they appear to be very poorly run and inefficient because the pursuit of this land grab, which was precarious even with a projected crude oil price of $120/bbl, is an idea that should be wholly rejected by any fair-minded individual (and has been rejected by just about every Western state, except Utah).

Conservation groups that have already come out against the land grab include Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, and Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership (I can provide you with the press releases if you would like). I doubt the Cache County Council wants to stand behind this land-grab position once the average local sportsman finds out the hunting groups they support are working against it.

Sportsmen's groups have done the math and figured out that this land grab cannot leave public land as-is. In the most basic sense... public land remaining status-quo must leave public revenue status-quo, which defeats the land-grabs stated purpose. Unless you are prepared to either sell or develop the land through mining, logging, grazing, drilling, etc., you are seeking nothing but a liability for the people you are supposed to represent... it would be impossible to increase revenue any other way. Hunting groups have one concern, wild places. A vote for the land-grab, is a vote against wild places.

One final thought, the idea of proposing your current tax increase, erstwhile giving tax dollars to groups seeking to close the public land of the people who paid those very taxes in the first place, seems a very dubious position to be in.

I think Theodore Roosevelt said it best, "Defenders of the short-sighted men who in their greed and selfishness will, if permitted, rob our country of half its charm by their reckless extermination of all useful and beautiful wild things sometimes seek to champion them by saying the 'the game belongs to the people'. So it does; and not merely to the people now alive, but to the unborn people. Our duty to the whole, including the unborn generations, bids us restrain an unprincipled present-day minority from wasting the heritage of these unborn generations."
 

1_pointer

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I'm not surprised by the actions of the counties in Utah. A lot of those elected in UT would be very much for a transfer/sale as they would be some of the first to benefit from it. I too would be interested in hearing your results.

If it went through I can only imagine how fast Logan Canyon would change...
 

grizzly_

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The Herald Journal in Logan just wrote an article about the Cache County Council donating tax dollars to American Lands Council.

http://news.hjnews.com/allaccess/co...cle_ad16d28a-9d22-524f-b552-93adc7565e79.html

If any of you are willing to write a quick Letter to the Editor stating how, as a hunter, you value your public lands and want them to remain public... it would be much appreciated.

Our goal is to let every hunter know that BHA, RMEF, TRCP, etc, have all rejected this land grab, but that those same hunter's elected officials are using our tax dollars to lobby for the seizure of public land.
 

Big Fin

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Like I've said, it's a lot easier to buy state level politicians than at the federal level..

Bullseye. And those wanting to steal your public lands have that as a cornerstone of their strategy to get us "obstructionists" out of the way.
 

grizzly_

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The counties along the Wasatch Front are now considering opting-out of the Utah Association of Counties. The populated areas are basically fed up with being manhandled by the southern Utah counties hell-bent on fighting the protection of public land.

A quick letter to the editor saying that, as a hunter, you support public land will go a long way to inform those of us in this rural community of the impending carnage to our public lands.

Here is the link if you have a few minutes, it is very quick and can all be done online... https://news-dot-hjnews-dot-com.bloxcms.com/submissions/tips-news/submit_a_letter_to_the_editor/
 

grizzly_

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C'mon guys. I know I'm not the only one who wants to stop this land grab.

I hear a very ruggedly handsome gentleman got the newspaper to run the article and also put BHA in touch with the paper for a quote, but he needs your help to get the ball rolling and public awareness increased.

Just a few minutes of your time to write a quick letter to the editor (see link above), even if you're not from Cache Valley would be awesome. Thx.
 

1_pointer

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The counties along the Wasatch Front are now considering opting-out of the Utah Association of Counties. The populated areas are basically fed up with being manhandled by the southern Utah counties hell-bent on fighting the protection of public land.

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Get the disproportionate influence of many of those southern counties out of the way would be great for a lot of things in that state.
 

Big Fin

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You, and others in Utah, have done a great job of raising awareness of what your politicians are up to. If you had told me a year ago that the passive media of Utah would take on this topic and raise the volume, I would have doubted it very much. Kudos to you and others. You are making a difference. Last night I was on the phone with a guy and we remarked how the tone and tenor of these topics in Utah, of all unlikely places, seems to be changing.

Keep at it and feel free to use this forum to raise the volume even further.
 

grizzly_

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In response to the Herald Journal article (linked above), the local radio station on last nights talk program, KVNU's "For The People", covered the Cache County Council donation as well as the fallacy of the entire land-grab idea.

The quote on their Facebook page teasing the story is, "County Exec Craig Buttars defends the county council pouring out $10,000 for membership in Rep. Ivory's ALC, a "plan" budget analysts deemed financially unsustainable..."

There was also a well-written Letter to the Editor in today's paper from a hunter rejecting the donation and the land-grab in general. I'm hoping to see more in coming days.

Hopefully this is the beginning of a movement that will educate the rest of us as to exactly what this land grab will accomplish... the unavoidable loss of public land.

Please contact your elected officials and let them know where you stand and that they are picking a fight not with an individual, but with a way of life. As I keep repeating... please write Letters to the Editor of your newspaper of choice. The point here is to keep the discussion in the public forum, and Letters to the Editor are a great way to do that. They also serve to let the mainstream media know it is an important subject and one worth covering.

Thanks to all those who have sent PMs voicing their support and especially thanks to those that have stood up for what they believe in and contributed to the effort by talking to their buddies and writing letters to elected officials and newspapers.

Let's keep it up guys. Preserving our hunting heritage may very well depend on it.
 

grizzly_

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Herald Journal Editorial - 12/3/15

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OUR VIEW

Let’s talk a bit about the Cache County Council’s decision to financially support the American Lands Council, an organization that is spearheading the fight to have federal property turned over to states.

The County Council has reportedly made payments totaling $10,000 to maintain a “silver membership” in the organization led by Utah Rep. Ken Ivory, R-West Jordan. When contacted by The Herald Journal for an article in Sunday’s newspaper, County Executive Craig Buttars defended the expenditure, saying the county supports “the organization’s stance against the federal government’s overreach.”

Obviously, Buttars didn’t mean everyone in the county supports the cause, just the county’s elected leaders, but that’s among concerns raised by a number of local residents after learning of the situation. Since when, they are asking, has county government spoken for the whole community on a divisive national issue of this kind? And since when has there been any expectation that local tax dollars be devoted to causes outside the purview of the government entity collecting those taxes?

Since never.

Forget for a minute the issue at hand — control of public lands. And let’s even overlook the controversy surrounding Rep. Ivory’s $95,000 salary for running the nonprofit American Lands Council. It doesn’t matter what the issue or organization is. Local government simply shouldn’t be spending taxpayers’ dollars on any advocacy organization, be it the ALC, the NRA, NOW, Green Peace, PITA, you name it.

So here’s a simple solution for any local political leaders wanting to support any such organizations. Reach into your own pockets. That way you won’t have to face any more criticism of this kind, and you should sleep a little better to boot.

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