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Western Public Lands

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Hunting, Fishing Businesses Unite in Support of National Monuments

Date: 
Tue, 05/09/2017

 

New Mexico's Rio Grande del Norte is one of the national monuments under review by the Interior Department. Image: BLM/Bob Wick

Hunting, Fishing Businesses Unite in Support of National Monuments

WASHINGTON – More than 100 hunting and fishing business owners and sporting organizations sent a letter May 9 to Congress to show their support for national monuments and the responsible use of the Antiquities Act.

The letter is part of a larger effort to demonstrate the important role national monuments and the Antiquities Act play not only to small businesses and rural economies but also to hunters and anglers all across the country. Business owners met with decision makers in Washington to emphasize the value of public lands and national monuments to the outdoor industry.

“As someone who has helped develop the outdoor industry in Colorado and watched it grow into an economic powerhouse, I am concerned by current efforts both to curtail national monuments and weaken the Antiquities Act itself,” said Jim Bartschi, president of Scott Fly Rods in Montrose, Colorado. 

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. 

 

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