There is a number of disturbing public land and wildlife management issues that we have been following. Many of them deal with legislation occurring at the state level. In certain ways, they represent a resurfacing of the Sagebrush Rebellion of prior decades because they are directly aimed at wresting federal public lands, and control of those lands, from all Americans.
Utah Rep. Ken Ivory recently gave a presentation to the Idaho Legislature concerning a legislative model that Utah is using to demand the transfer of federal public lands (within their state) to Utah. It appears that Idaho Rep. Lawrence Denney and Rep. Monty Pearce are currently working to write legislation that would attempt to do the same thing for Idaho. Click here to read a recent editorial on this development.
In conjunction, the Idaho Department of Lands Director Tom Schultz just issued a “back-of-the-napkin” analysis, which claims the state would annually reap $75 million if such a land grab were to occur. The ridiculous analysis conveniently ignores the true costs of managing federal public lands in Idaho, including the total costs of fire management, while simultaneously, inflating the potential profits or dividends.
Please contact your state legislature and tell them that federal public lands belong to all Americans.
Recently, the Salmon Chapter of the Backcountry Horsemen of Idaho announced they are seeking “disaster status” for the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness. It appears the group is frustrated with increased wildland fires, the role it plays in a self-willed landscape, and the Forest Service’s inability to maintain the trail system in the wilderness area.
As a result, Idaho Rep. Lenore Barrett and Rep. Marcus Gibbs have written House Joint Memorial No. 1, which is aimed at applying pressure to US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and US Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell to address the “crisis in the wilderness”. The memorial will soon receive a vote on the Idaho House and Senate floor. Click here to read a recent editorial on this subject and/or click here to read about the important role that fire plays in an ecosystem.
Please contact your state legislature to remind them that federally designated wilderness areas are not natural disasters, nor are they intended to be equestrian parks for certain groups.
The Idaho Legislature has introduced Senate Bill 1061, which is aimed to amend the policy of the Idaho Office of Species Conservation. The amendment would assert that the state has “primacy over its fish and wildlife” and that any reintroduction efforts of threatened or endangered species by the federal government, within the state, would violate Idaho policy, unless first approved by the office.
Please contact your state legislature and remind them that such actions would be deemed unconstitutional in a federal court of law.
Speaking of public land grabs, the US Forest Service has announced that there will be a series of “check-in-meetings” regarding the current Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests Forest Planning collaborative. Meetings will take place in Lewiston on February 26 at the Idaho Fish & Game Department office, in Grangeville on February 28 at the Senior Citizen Center, and in Moscow on March 4 at the 1912 Center. Click here to read a summary of our concerns.
Keep it public,