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Saving the Sagebrush Sea: An Imperiled Western Legacy

Nearly 350 plant and animal species depend on sagebrush habitat for their survival.
 


 

Sportsmen: Idaho Bill Reveals Truth of Public-Lands Attacks

Date: 
Wed, 02/22/2017

A  bill in the Idaho Legislature is targeting public lands. Image: Brian Brooks/IWF

BOISE, Idaho – Two sportsmen’s groups and a landowner are taking aim at a bill that not only would force Idaho state agencies to decide which public lands to get rid of but would prevent willing landowners from selling property to public agencies.

The Idaho Wildlife Federation, Trout Unlimited and landowner Erik Cetovick said Monday that Senate Bill 1065 in the Idaho Legislature could end up locking the public out of lands they have hunted and fished for generations. The bill also tips lawmakers’ hand in showing that the goal of taking over public lands is to sell them to private parties, dismantling Idahoans’ public-lands heritage, they added.

"For years now, our politicians have said that the transfer of public lands to the state is about better management. Well, now we have them flat out advising all state agencies to prioritize their land parcels for sale to private owner ship any lands that might not be fulfilling a 'public purpose,’” said Brian Brooks, executive director of the Idaho Wildlife Federation. 

Sportsmen Cheer Shelving of Public Lands Bill, Vow Continued Vigilance

Date: 
Tue, 02/07/2017

Hunters and anglers are speaking out against efforts to undermine our public-lands and sporting heritage. Image: Bill Dvorak

By Judith Kohler

DENVER – Sportsmen and women and other conservationists and outdoor advocates voiced appreciation Thursday after a plan to sell more than 3 million acres of national public lands was halted, but pledged to stay vigilant as other bills to dispose of or undermine the management of public lands advance at the state and federal levels.

The decision by Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz to not pursue HR 621, which would have sold a total of 3.3 million acres of public lands in 10 Western states, came as welcome news to the sportsmen and women for whom public lands “are the backbone of our sporting traditions,” said Aaron Kindle, the National Wildlife Federation’s Western sportsmen’s campaign manager.

“We hope this decision signals that Rep. Chaffetz and his congressional colleagues are starting to understand how important these lands are to Americans and that they’ll cease their efforts to seize them from the public trust,” Kindle added.

Americans won't support public-lands giveaway

Date: 
Tue, 01/03/2017

Our public lands are essential to healthy wildlife populations. Image: Judith Kohler

“We have fallen heirs to the most glorious heritage a people ever received, and each one must do his part if we wish to show that the nation is worthy of its good fortune." ~ President Theodore Roosevelt.

By Judith Kohler

The great American conservationist and leader who made that comment about our outdoors heritage would be outraged by elected officials who could look at our national public lands and decide they’re worthless.

Yet that’s the message the U.S. House has sent with a package of rules that includes one that will clear the way for handing over national public lands to states. The change would essentially codify a lie – that loss of our public lands wouldn’t cost the nation anything. 

 

Win for Wildlife: Master leasing plan proposed in southwest Colorado

Date: 
Thu, 10/06/2016

Colorado BLM has proposed a master leasing plan for parts of southwest Colorado. Image: Flickr-PDK Outdoor

DOLORES, Colo. -- After hearing from hunters, anglers, area residents and outdoor enthusiasts, the Colorado Bureau of Land Management has decided to pursue development of a master leasing plan for new oil and gas development on public lands in southwest Colorado.

The master leasing plan, or MLP, has been proposed in Montezuma and La Plata counties and includes the gateway area to Mesa Verde National Park and archeological sites.

“The Tres Rios area has valuable wildlife habitat that includes important migratory routes, winter range as well as calving and lambing areas. It deserves the additional management protections for these areas that an MLP can provide,” said Bill Dvorak, the National Wildlife Federation’s public lands organizer in Colorado.

 

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