The Bullock administration’s initiative will oppose the transfer of all Montana land at every turn; will restore the currently frozen Habitat Montana, which provides public access and hunting and fishing opportunities for all Montanans, free of charge (funded by out-of-state hunting and fishing license fees). It creates a state position dedicated to protecting public access to public lands, and launches a Montana Office of Outdoor Recreation.
This clear, steady vision will help defend Montana against the latest iteration of the attempt to privatize—take—our public lands, which are the heart and essence of the state.
A movement to remove public lands from federal control has found its way into a draft of the Republican Party platform. When the GOP convention opens Monday, one plank up for debate would transfer authority over areas such as national parks, refuges, wilderness areas and national forests to the states in which they reside.
Dan Lorimier, conservation coordinator with the Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club, said he is deeply concerned that the Republican Party is considering the views of what he calls a radical fringe group.
The reality is that the PLI has problems that go beyond the Bears Ears. In too many places it bent toward the energy industry, and it would allow the counties to claim roads where there aren't any and shouldn't be. The PLI's county-driven process never accepted that it was about America's land, and so it never gave adequate voice to the tribes or to national environmental groups. That cost the congressmen years that could have gone into real talks.
Instead, we get a mad scramble at the end, and the Utahns in Congress look like they have been outplayed. A negotiated settlement would have been better, but a Bears Ears monument declaration looks like the only viable solution at this point.
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is profoundly disappointed, therefore, in the vote by Republican delegates to transfer ownership of our public lands and waters to the states. This decision fails to uphold the interests and values of American citizens and, if implemented, would have severe negative repercussions for our cherished landscapes, the fish and wildlife that inhabit them, and the outdoor opportunities enjoyed by millions.
The meat of their public land proposals has been one of emphasizing heavy land development, and in addition, the transfer of American public lands to the states. If they are not transferred, the latest platform suggests we should get the worst deal of all, privatization — sale of our national outdoors treasure to the highest bidder.
Will the Wisconsin Delegation take a stand?
It's billed as protection, but their going for privatization and hand-outs to oil companies for expanded drilling opportunities.
The Republican platform committee met this week to draft the document that defines the party’s official principles and policies. There is an amendment calling for the indiscriminate and immediate disposal of national public lands.
Officials with the state Department of Natural Resources have identified three cities for a possible relocation of the department’s Forestry Division.
The department asked for public comment Thursday about the possible relocation of the division’s headquarters to Hayward, Rhinelander or Wausau.