In January 2017, Rep. Chaffetz (UT) introduced two bad pieces of legislation: HR 621, which was dropped after immense public outcry, would have disposed of 3-million acres of public lands. HR 622, Local Enforcement for Local Lands Act, has not been dropped and would essentially eliminate federal law enforcement officers on National Forests (FS) and public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Please call you Congressman or woman and tell them you oppose this legislation. You can specifically reach Rep. Chaffetz here and Rep. Labrador (ID) here.
Talking points to consider:
1. Legislation could open the door to increased poaching, exploitation and degradation of cultural and natural resources.
2. Elimination of FS and BLM law enforcement would not eliminate the agency’s legal obligations to protect cultural and natural resources.
3. FS and BLM are specifically trained to enforce laws and regulations that State or Local Law Enforcement is not specifically trained in. Therefore, effective and thorough enforcement of these laws and regulations may not occur at all or not occur consistently.
4. Pursuant to the legislation, State or local law enforcement would be sworn to uphold federal laws despite obvious conflicts between national and local interests. For example would a State or local officer enforce closure of trails to motorized vehicles when same local communities or persons may be hostile to such laws or regulations.
5. State and local law enforcement are already overwhelmed with significant workloads and charging them with additional law enforcement duties is unreasonable. It would be unfair to expect a State of local law enforcement officer to be able to fairly represent the US public at large.