The latest on Montana, giving credit where credit is due (i.e. there’s nothing ‘grassroots’ about it):
“The American Lands Council is leading the charge on this. I’m not a member, but I do appreciate that they’re helping elected officials get better educated on this,” Fielder said.
I’m sure that education includes these facts:
ALC bases much of its justification for lands transfer on sections in the Western states’ Enabling Acts that say the federal government “is obligated to extinguish title to additional lands.”
But a University of Utah legal analysis published in October found that phrase applied only to Indian lands, not public lands. The analysis also outlined several laws and Supreme Court decisions that firmly establish federal control of public lands.
“As the owner of public lands, the United States holds the public lands ‘in trust for the people of the whole country,’ not solely for the benefit of adjacent landowners,” the report said.
Someone came up with a new financial twist – give states the land, federal tax dollars keep paying for the upkeep:
Fielder said the state wouldn’t need that much money if the federal government were required to pitch in. “This catastrophic wildfire condition has grown on their watch. So keeping the federal government on the hook for helping with fire suppression is something we ought to look at,” Fielder said.
And these folks don’t like to collaborate:
But Fielder dismissed collaboratives as ineffective. “Citizens have very little chance to get their objectives inserted in federal land management plans because paid lobbyists are there at every meeting. They pretty much drown out the local community’s voice,” Fielder said.
I’m sure that’s based on a good set of facts, too.