Before we start, let me remind readers again of this photo of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) breaking ground on a solar power project that will have a major environmental impact on the desert in Nevada. Meanwhile, the federal Bureau of Land Management (headed by a former top Reid aide) insists that the Bundy ranch, on adjacent land, represents an environmental threat to the desert tortoise. How many tortoises is Harry Reid willing to kill for campaign contributions in a corrupt green energy scheme?
|Senator Reid, at right, puts campaign green before environmental concerns as he digs up |
the Nevada desert making way for a solar power project.
No wonder many in the west find the federal government's land policies offensive. They own nearly everything. No eastern state would tolerate the amount of federal interference seen in these western states even when they are not doing it at the point of a gun as in the Bundy Case.
It's time, past time, for a remedy. Let the states manage their own land and do what is right for their citizens, not well connected Washington cronies.
From the Salt Lake Tribune:
It’s time for Western states to take control of federal lands within their borders, lawmakers and county commissioners from Western states said at Utah’s Capitol on Friday.At least if there is corruption or bad management with state ownership the people of that state will be able to take action at the polls to correct the problem. But who can you hold accountable and vote out of office for what happens on federal lands?
More than 50 political leaders from nine states convened for the first time to talk about their joint goal: wresting control of oil-, timber -and mineral-rich lands away from the feds.
Idaho Speaker of the House Scott Bedke said Idaho forests and rangeland managed by the state have suffered less damage and watershed degradation from wildfire than have lands managed by federal agencies.
"It’s time the states in the West come of age," Bedke said. "We’re every bit as capable of managing the lands in our boundaries as the states east of Colorado."
Ivory said the issue is of interest to urban as well as rural lawmakers, in part because they see oilfields and other resources that could be developed to create jobs and fund education.
Moreover, the federal government’s debt threatens both its management of vast tracts of the West as well as its ability to come through with payments in lieu of taxes to the states, he said. Utah gets 32 percent of its revenue from the federal government, much of it unrelated to public lands.
"If we don’t stand up and act, seeing that trajectory of what’s coming … those problems are going to get bigger," Ivory said.
He was the sponsor two years of ago of legislation, signed by Gov. Gary Herbert, that demands the federal government relinquish title to federal lands in Utah. The lawmakers and governor said they were only asking the federal government to make good on promises made in the 1894 Enabling Act for Utah to become a state.
The intent was never to take over national parks and wilderness created by an act of Congress Lockhart said. "We are not interested in having control of every acre," she said. "There are lands that are off the table that rightly have been designated by the federal government."