Monday, February 08, 2016

Donald Trump Sr & Jr interviews cover Interior Secretary, land transfers & 2nd amendment

Petersen's Hunting recently posted an interview with Donald Trump.  Mike Scoby writes:

Donald Trump and the Second Amendment

On Second Amendment issues he was spot on—essentially echoing what gun owners have been saying for years. Gun-free zones create easy targets for criminals. If citizens were armed, there would be fewer casualties in mass shootings, and under his watch there would be no new federal gun laws. If that wasn’t enough, he agreed unequivocally that law-abiding citizens should be allowed to buy, sell, and trade firearms and ammunition with other Americans without registrations and regulations imposed by federal agencies. This is in direct contrast to many politicians who commonly refer to this as “the gun show loophole” and look to regulate these private transactions.

Trump’s Take on Federal Land Sales

When it came to hunters’ rights and federal land sales, Donald Trump didn’t waffle, stating that a USFWS Director appointed by him would “ideally be a hunter” and under his watch there would be no sale of public Western lands. This is in direct opposition to Sen. Ted Cruz who filed an amendment to the Bipartisan Sportsman’s Act of 2014 that would force the federal government to sell off a significant portion of its holdings in the West. This includes national parks, forests, and BLM and wildlife management areas that would be sold to states or private companies, likely for mining, logging, and drilling.

You can watch the interview here.

There is also an interview with Donald Trump, Jr.  Again, Scoby writes:

MS: One of the biggest threats hunters are facing is the sale or transfer of “excess” public lands in the West. Sen. Ted Cruz filed an amendment to the Bipartisan Sportsman’s Act of 2014 to do just this in states where over 50 percent of the property is owned by the federal government. Would you or your father support any federal land sale?

DT Jr: In my opinion, Ted is 100 percent wrong to have Congress mandate a blanket approach to sell any percentage of federal lands to the states. Clear back to Teddy Roosevelt, our federal lands were the American public’s greatest treasure. They are where our people love to hunt fish, hike, camp, snowmobile, and recreate. Some advocates of selling don’t understand the millions and millions of recreation days and billions of dollars in tourism, hunting, fishing, and the outdoors generally bring in to the coffers. There is a lot of value in these lands to be kept public, and we need to care for them properly. In rare cases—for example, if there was 1,000 acres of federal land around, say, Las Vegas, that was no good for wildlife or recreation and we could sell it for $500 million, where that money is funneled back to wildlife and conservation—we could do a lot of good, even buying a few private ranches for sale, and open lands currently closed to public access. That would be a win for sportsmen, but again, this would be a rare exception. I would never want to do this for true wilderness.

MS: When it comes to transferring land to the state, on the surface many sportsmen are initially in favor of the idea until they realize that the state has no intention of keeping the land or managing it for public use, such as hunting, fishing, or recreation. Some misguided legislators, such as Utah State Representative Ken Ivory and Montana State Senator Jennifer Fielder, are pushing this flawed logic. Will these individuals fool the Trump administration?

DT Jr: I would never support selling our federal lands. As we know, many citizens out West are completely frustrated with federal overreach and lawsuits that hurt our federal lands and sportsmen.
Rather than transfer the lands, I want to change some laws and better invest current money to make our lands more productive, while having fewer wildfires. Well-managed lands, with thinned timber, food plots, and habitat improvements that help animals would be the goal. The solution is to make our lands better and give people that live in these areas a say. Wade Boggs, a great baseball player, once said something to the effect of “the people of New Mexico don’t want to manage New York and the people in New York probably don’t know the lands as well as the people who live, work, and hunt or fish in New Mexico.”

MS: Proponents of federal land sales claim it will help balance the budget when in truth it is being pushed through at the state level by large multinational business interests who stand to profit off the sale. If balancing the budget were the goal, wouldn’t it be more effective to balance our budget by reducing our spending instead of raping our natural resources? I mean, if we sell off our assets now and don’t change our spending habits, what will we do in a decade when we have no land and still have a massive deficit?

DT Jr: Never do this. It’s like selling your gun to buy a deer tag! There are plenty of places to cut billions of dollars of waste in all forms of the federal budget. We have to. We simply can’t have $20 trillion of debt. What we want to do is take current money being wasted on endless studies or lawsuits. Big portions of the Department of Interior’s multibillion annual budget is fighting lawsuits, filed by radical environmental groups, just to pay attorneys. Let’s take this money, make our federal lands productive, increase our herds and flocks, and have more hunting.

You may be listening to our next Secretary of Interior, so I would encourage you to watch this interview here.

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