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.
Friday, September 21, 2012
Utah lawmakers continue push for ownership as public lands war gains traction
Utah's public lands fight against the federal government is beginning to gather steam on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers were briefed Wednesday about efforts to establish a commission to help navigate policymakers through the fray. "It's kind of like eating an elephant," said Kathleen Clarke, director of the Public Lands Coordinating Office. "Where do you start?" Clarke said her office is working in consultation with a number of experts on the establishment of the commission, which would provide guidance and answers as the state moves forward its demands to have the government cede authority to Utah over the control of federal lands. "It has become very clear to us that this is not just a Utah battle," she told members of the Legislature's Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment Interim Committee. "It's not just a Republican issue," Clarke added, pointing to the charge led by then-Utah Gov. Scott Matheson, a Democrat who was among the key players in an American West battle to influence more local control over environmental policies in the 1970s and ’80s. "I think (Matheson) was way ahead of his time," remarked Rep. Ken Ivory, R-West Jordan, sponsor of last session's HB148, which is setting the stage for this newest fight. Utah's public policy makers are chafing against the federal government's continued control over an estimated two-thirds of the land in Utah. They assert that ownership locks up millions of dollars in potential revenue because of environmental regulations that hamstring the oil and gas industry, livestock grazing or even timber harvesting...more