Gov. Hickenlooper Calls Republican Land Grab "reckless, and an assault"

Gov. Hickenlooper Calls Republican Land Grab "reckless, and an assault"

Colorado governor says Republican land grab is an assault "against all of our national public lands that have been held in trust for all Americans for over 200 years.”

 

From the Durango Herald

By Jim Mimiaga

http://www.durangoherald.com/article/20160725/NEWS01/160729711/-1/news01&source=RSS

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar say a recently released Republican Party platform that promotes the transfer of federal public lands to states is bad for the country.

During a media phone conference July 19, Hickenlooper sharply criticized the Republican movement to give up federal lands, calling it “reckless, and an assault on not just public lands in Colorado, but against all of our national public lands that have been held in trust for all Americans for over 200 years.”

“Teddy Roosevelt and pioneers of conservation would be rolling over in their grave if knew there was a movement in the Republican Party to basically give away all these lands,” Salazar said.

The response came after the Republican National Committee released its party platform goals before its national convention in Cleveland last week.

“Congress shall immediately pass universal legislation providing for a timely and orderly mechanism requiring the federal government to convey certain federally controlled public lands to the states,” the RNC platform stated. “The residents of state and local communities know best how to protect the land where they work and live.”

But Hickenlooper said he fears that such action could have unintended consequences such as states selling the land for short-term economic gain.

Montezuma County commissioners have expressed support for transferring of federal lands to state and county control.

Last year, they lobbied the U.S. Forest Service to transfer Sage Hen, House Creek and the McPhee Reservoir boat ramp over to the county.

They want Sage Hen to reopen for camping, and expressed frustration at the pace of bringing back marina services.

In response, the San Juan National Forest, which manages recreation on McPhee, prioritized issuance of a concessionaire permit for the marina, and it reopened this year after a 15-year absence.

Also, in 2014, the county joined the controversial American Lands Council, which advocates for transfer of federal lands to states, except for national parks, wilderness areas, military bases and Native American reservations.

Commissioner James Lambert, a long-time advocate for state control of federal lands, said that when Colorado became a state, “legal language said the federal government would return the land to the state.”

Lambert said that if the state had control of federal lands, there would be more opportunity for logging, mining and oil-and-gas production.

“Right now, the federal lands are managed on a one-size-fits-all approach out of Washington D.C., and that does not work,” he said. “Regulations for mining, oil and gas, and logging right now are extremely burdensome.”

Public lands lawyers billed Utah for luxury flights, hotels

Lawyers hired to help Utah prepare a $14 million lawsuit against the federal government for control of public lands billed the state for first-class airfare, stays at luxury hotels and steakhouse meals, according to invoices flagged Wednesday by a watchdog group.

Anne Weismann, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based Campaign for Accountability, said the expenses flagged by her group show sloppy accounting at best and a serious abuse of taxpayer funds at worst.

"Either way, Utah taxpayers deserve a full accounting of the expenses," Weismann said in a statement. "If there is a good reason for these lawyers to bill the state of Utah for luxury hotels, let's hear it."

http://host.madison.com/business/public-lands-lawyers-billed-utah-for-luxury-flights-hotels/article_858de087-ab2a-5a64-b430-6ecf9de6d561.html

DNR to give Walker donors lakefront property in land swap

DNR to give Walker donors lakefront property in land swap

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources officials have come up with a way to give a northern lakefront parcel to one of Gov. Scott Walker's key donors that they hope will save them another round of stinging criticism.

The agency plans to give Elizabeth Uihlein the 1.75 acres along Rest Lake in Manitowish Waters she wants so her condominium complex will have lake access, DNR real estate director Doug Haag said Monday. Uihlein and her husband in return will give the agency 42.7 private acres the couple is close to buying within the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest boundaries.

Uihlein and her husband, Richard Uihlein, donated nearly $3 million to Walker's president super PAC and Our American Revival, Walker's now-defunct nonprofit group that helped promote his presidential bid.

http://www.startribune.com/wisconsin-dnr-plans-to-swap-land-with-walker-donor/387317551/

Colorado Governor against proposed GOP public land grab

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar say a recently released Republican Party platform that promotes the transfer of federal public lands to states is bad for the country.

During a media phone conference July 19, Hickenlooper sharply criticized the Republican movement to give up federal lands, calling it “reckless, and an assault on not just public lands in Colorado, but against all of our national public lands that have been held in trust for all Americans for over 200 years.”

http://www.cortezjournal.com/article/20160724/NEWS01/160729951/-1/news&source=RSS

Outdoor Industry’s Message: Public Lands Are Sacred

Outdoor Industry’s Message: Public Lands Are Sacred

"OIA has had great success in working closely with policymakers in both parties on a “balanced trade agenda” that balances the interests of importers with those of U.S. manufacturers. We have found a way that all parties can benefit. We believe these same principles – a balanced approach – can be applied to federal land management, and the bountiful opportunities our public land and water provide all of us. The answer is not to turn these lands over to states, disguised as better management, but is instead to continue to seek improvements in the practices and processes that lead to conflict in the first place. The outdoor industry stands ready to partner with and lead those who are willing to join us in that belief."

https://gearjunkie.com/outdoor-industry-association-letter-rnc-public-land-transfer

GOP Anti-public Lands Platform Steals from Everyday Wisconsinites

The Republican committee tasked with writing the Republican Party’s 2016 platform voted to include an amendment calling on Congress to return federal lands to the states immediately.

“The agenda endorsed in the GOP Platform is controversial with members of both parties.

This agenda should be of concern to anyone who loves our national parks, national forests, national wildlife refuges, and any space, large or small owned by the American people.

http://milwaukeecourieronline.com/index.php/2016/07/23/gop-anti-public-lands-platform-steals-from-everyday-wisconsinites/

 The Republican platform’s Bundy plank

The Republican platform’s Bundy plank

"...the GOP national committee approved a new platform that throws a bone to the types who cheered on last year’s armed takeover of a national wildlife refuge in Oregon. “Congress shall immediately pass universal legislation … requiring the federal government to convey certain federally controlled public lands to the states,” the platform states, reflecting a long-held conservative animosity toward land managers and federal regulations that protect national parks, national forests."

http://www.denverpost.com/2016/07/23/the-republican-platforms-bundy-plank/

Proposed Kohler golf course has residents worried in Sheboygan

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources wants to give acres of the Kohler-Andrae State Park to Kohler Corporation, so the company can build a high-priced private golf course. From the story:

Faydash says that the DNR acted too quickly pushing this study through and didn't take enough time to know what the environmental impact will be.

"There is not enough information," said Faydash. "Kohler didn't even complete it's environmental impact report."

www.wearegreenbay.com/news/local-news/proposed-kohler-golf-course-has-residents-worried-in-sheboygan

An in-depth history of the radical anti-public lands movement in Congress

An in-depth history of the radical anti-public lands movement in Congress

Since 2010, Congress has been incapable of passing individual parks and wilderness bills, legislators are pressing to sell off tens of millions of acres of publicly owned lands, and laws which help protect at-risk public lands—including the Antiquities Act and the Land and Water Conservation Fund—are under relentless attack.

https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/green/report/2016/04/11/135044/the-rise-to-power-of-the-congressional-anti-parks-caucus/