Sportsmen, conservationists want answers from candidates on public land transfers |

Sportsmen, conservationists want answers from candidates on public land transfers

Jason Blevins, The Denver Post

One big question probably will echo across the Mesa County Fairgrounds on Thursday night, when Donald Trump Jr., the outdoorsman son of the Republican presidential nominee, drops in for in what’s billed as a “campfire” discussion of wildlife issues.

If he is elected president, how would Donald Trump address proposals to transfer federal public lands to the states?

Here in flyover country, people do care about homeland security, the national economy, the Islamic State and health care. But Colorado’s lifeblood courses through public lands, particularly on the Western Slope, where millions of acres of federal land anchor the often conflicting economic engines of extraction and recreation.

“This public-lands transfer question is pretty much the foundation that sets the tone for all other issues,” said Aaron Kindle, the Western sportsmen manager for the National Wildlife Federation’s Rocky Mountain region.

But sportsmen and conservation groups have had to pry opinions from the two leading presidential candidates about the idea that states can better manage public lands than the federal government does.

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