Local plans for federal lands – the latest

This is a continuation of the “sagebrush rebellion” in the form of local government plans that purport to exert local control over federal land management.  They are being peddled to rural counties by Karen Budd-Falen, an attorney with a history of promoting private property rights (who some expect to be the new director of the …

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Utah counties make plans for federal lands

Sagebrush Rebellion light? The state required counties to make these plans, which by itself should be a good thing (especially where there has historically been anti-planning sentiment). “This helps us to work with our federal partners to ensure Summit County’s interests are part of the conversation on how federal lands are managed,” said Sean Lewis, …

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Personnel, politics and public access to public lands

  Yes, it looks like Forest Service employees should be concerned about how Trump might affect their careers.  Here’s an example about offending private landowners who block access to national forests.  (And, without any facts beyond earlier stories, I’ll suggest that you not think of these as long-term rural residents, but more likely some recent, …

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Federal lands and transitional economies

Headwaters Economics has released this update to a report discussed at length here last year:  “Rural counties in the West with more federal lands performed better on average than their peers with less federal lands in four key economic measures.” “This update of research from last year finds that from the early 1970s to the early …

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The beginning of state management of national forests

A group of Western senators, including Sens. Jim Risch and Mike Crapo, both R-Idaho, have introduced a bill to allow states to implement their own conservation plans to protect sage grouse and their habitats, in lieu of federal management. Congress would be allowing states to override the decisions by the Forest Service and BLM to …

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Interior nominee Zinke talks about federal lands

He had a lot of interesting things to say that generally put him within the normal range of political appointees to this position (a nice surprise, given some of Trump’s other nominees), including retaining federal ownership and understanding of climate issues, and this: An admirer of President Theodore Roosevelt, Zinke said management of federal lands …

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Utah to sue to get federal lands

Or at least they’ve set aside the money to pay for it (the lawsuit, not the land).  So what are they waiting for?  Maybe they are hoping a Trump administration would make it unnecessary? (Some of you would probably also like Heartland’s take on forest fires.  “But now, the Department of the Interior misinforms us, …

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“Patriot” attack on public lands (and its users and employees)

Some members of Congress are trying to shine a spotlight on the threat to public land from armed militias.  They point out the direct threats, but also link them to the attempts to transfer federal lands to states: “Anti-government extremists didn’t always direct their ire at public-lands agencies. That changed, in part, because a group …

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Federal lands support diverse economies

Recent research by Headwaters Economics asked whether federal lands are an economic liability or an asset to rural communities (summarized in this opinion piece). On average, we find that from 1970-2014, rural counties with the most federal land grew much faster than similar counties with the least federal land: population grew four times faster, employment …

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