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, June 24, 2014
The grand compromise: The search for a public lands resolution
Imagine Rob Bishop with his head under the hood of a car and a line of people behind him telling him the best way to fix it.
That's the scenario for the Utah congressman, the "car" in this case the delicate issue of federal lands oversight in Utah, and few would dispute the current system is a junker, rife with lawsuits, stalemates and uncertainty.
Bishop, a Republican, has spent the past 20 months as the fixer mechanic, brokering a public lands initiative process that attempts to meld a legislative solution to land use issues in seven Utah counties.
"Everybody is going to get something, but not everything they demand," he said. "That is the beauty of doing it big."
Bishop's bill will propose solutions for some 18 million acres in the extreme eastern part of Utah, with possible wilderness designations that number in the millions of acres. At the same time, it would carve out certainty for recreationers, the oil and gas industry, coal mining interests, potash extraction and more.
This is no minor tune-up.
Wednesday Bishop met with Interior Secretary Sally Jewell at her request. He said she wanted to know how his "grand bargain" legislative effort was coming along.
"It was positive," he said. "She wanted a quick update of where we were in the process...We did go through in detail over the kind of things we would be putting on the table. She actually seemed very positive about it going forward."...more