Sometimes our usual public lands disagreements get wrapped up in partisan politics, which always invoke more heat than light. I thought this article was interesting, given that we were just discussing the roles of State politicians in deciding what happens on federal lands in Alaska. Here in Colorado, we have local people who disagree among themselves about what is best. We also have federal elected officials who disagree with each other. So we have an opportunity to ask “if politicians themselves disagree within the state, who can best be said to be making a claim of legitimacy based on geography?”
Senator Bennet seems to be arguing for Colorado (state) as a legitimate level for decisionmaking on federal lands.
“Coloradans know what’s best for our state – not Washington,” Bennet said in a written statement on Tuesday. “The CORE Act was drafted by Coloradans, for Coloradans – engaging with stakeholders across the state for nearly a decade to hammer out a reasonable public lands bills with broad support.”
Of course, not all Coloradans agree about this bill, as we’ve previously discussed, including the local Representative, Scott Tipton. So Congressional Districts are not the right level, but States are. Which is OK, but then (1) would that make Alaska state influences equally legitimate, or not? Note: Colorado did its own Roadless Rule (ultimately signed off by Obama/Hickenlooper)
Or perhaps Utah?
(2) What is it that makes Front Range congressfolk so interested in public lands not in their district?
“The White House also said that not enough local input has been addressed when it comes to the legislation, which is expected to get a vote this week in the U.S. House.” And of course, again, is the question there wasn’t enough input, or that it wasn’t listened to? I don’t believe that folks working on legislation do a “response to comments” so that the rest of us could figure this out. (3) What exactly is “local input”, how local is it and would we know it if we saw it? And how could the rest of us judge it without a “response to comments?”