Is this land our land? | AspenTimes.com

Is this land our land?

While getting fuel for my vehicle in Rifle last weekend, I observed a vehicle with different license plates than typical in our community. Out of the vehicle stepped a familiar looking man with a big black hat and mustache. I approached, asking, “Aren’t you Sen. Randy …”

“Baumgardner, what can I do for you?” he said.

Many congressional representatives have joined together to attempt to give states control of millions of acres at extremely high state budgetary costs, resulting in the “fire” sale of our public lands to the highest bidder when our state cannot maintain trails, roads, hatcheries, dams — the list goes on.

It has been inferred that this would allow states to have more of a voice on various federal/public land issues and better govern lands within the state’s boundaries. This is in contrast to a recent resolution by the House of Representatives to repeal Planning 2.0. By invoking an obscure legislative process called the Congressional Review Act, this repeal will disallow public involvement in any management decisions and create fewer opportunities for public involvement in the Bureau of Land Management’s land-use decisions. Reminder that the BLM oversees 245 million acres of America’s public lands!

Alarmingly, this repeal could indefinitely lock the BLM into the planning processes established nearly 35 years ago. The old way of doing things doesn’t account for better science, data, or best practices for wildlife and habitat management.

Agriculture and mining will still have a seat at the public lands decision table, but we, the public, will not be allowed to have our voices heard. Our public lands in Colorado generate $13.2 billion in consumer spending and have a direct correlation to 124,000 jobs and $994 million in taxes.

So yes, Sen. Baumgardner, there is something you can do for me.

Rick Seymour

Silt


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