Issues of concern to people who live in the west: property rights, water rights, endangered species, livestock grazing, energy production, wilderness and western agriculture. Plus a few items on western history, western literature and the sport of rodeo... Frank DuBois served as the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003. DuBois is a former legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior, and is the founder of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Lawmakers aim to wrest control of Colorado's public lands from federal goverment
A Northern Colorado lawmaker has a message for the federal government: Get your hands off our Fourteeners. Rep. Jerry Sonnenberg, R-Sterling, said Monday he plans to sponsor a bill that will require the state to wrest control of most of Colorado’s Fourteeners and more than 23 million acres of federal public land across the state, including most of Roosevelt National Forest west of Fort Collins and most of Colorado’s BLM and U.S. Forest Service land. The state would either sell the land off to private individuals or manage it itself. He said he envisions the bill excluding all national parks and monuments, including those on BLM land. “When is enough enough for the amount of land that the state owns or the federal government owns?” he said, adding that the federal government hasn’t been taking care of the land. “Quite frankly, they allow noxious weeds, they don’t manage the land the way they need to be managing it,” he said, citing restrictions on timber harvesting in national forests. Sonnenberg, who said he is working on the bill with Sen. Scott Renfroe, R-Greeley, and Sen. Mark Scheffel, R-Parker, is following the lead of Republican Utah state Rep. Ken Ivory, who is proposing legislation in that state to use a provision in Utah’s enabling act to attempt to force the federal government to cede control of millions acres of federal land there, excluding national parks. Utah’s enabling act designates the federal government as a “trustee” of federal land in Utah. Ivory proposes for the state to reclaim public land from its Washington, D.C., caretakers, giving the government a December 31, 2014 deadline to hand over public land to the state, the Logan, Utah, Herald Journal reported Jan. 14...more