Thursday, February 02, 2017

Diverse NM groups unite against push to transfer federal lands to states

A mix of protesters who normally aren’t on the same side of a fight — Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, hunters, horsemen and hikers — marched on the state Capitol Feb. 1 in a shared defense of federal public lands. “Once public land is gone, it’s gone forever. There is no getting it back,” said Jesse Deubel, an Edgewood housing contractor and director of United Bowhunters of New Mexico, as he walked from the Roundhouse to the nearby State Land Office with hundreds of other demonstrators. Deubel and other protesters said they fear a national Republican push to turn federal lands over to state control is picking up steam, one piece of legislation at a time. With Republicans firmly in control of Congress and the White House, and the transfer of federal lands to states listed as part of the GOP platform, there’s reason for their concern. Bills calling for land transfers are already working their way though statehouses and Congress. “Public lands turned over to the state will be bartered for political favors, used as bargaining chips and used to pay back donors,” Deubel said. Republicans who support transferring management of federal lands and mineral rights to states say that for too long, federal regulation has hurt rural ranchers and farmers most closely tied to those lands. They also argue that the federal government has poorly managed the properties, leading to overgrown forests prone to wildfires and hurting oil and gas development...more

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The U.S. Constitution is on the side of states owning their lands.
But as the Founders knew human nature is flawed, subject to corruption, power, and greed.
Isn't it worse now than then?
Where would we get the good people to administer the public lands as they come into their respective state's control?

From what I've seen these days that good caliber of people is the minority.