Saturday, February 4, 2017

Congressional Land Grab Still Underway

    We had a small victory & dancing, but the fight to save the Public Trust aint over yet. Far from it. And this, I think, serves to illustrate the false construct of an actual Left/Right divide, as hunters & anglers of all parties are coming together to protest Congress's "disposal" of public lands. We must quit drinking that divisive kool-aid right now lest those serving lesser gods rob us while we are busy poking each other’s belly buttons. Wake up ladies & gentlemen. Like it or not, The Time has arrived that we must define what America is going to be. 

And my hat is off to the many outdoor writers who have put aside things they’d much rather be writing about & instead using their platforms to activate anglers, hunters & all who live & enjoy the outdoor life. John Tobin, one of the good guys, sent me this from outdoor writer Casey Schreiber, from Modernhiker.com.

What you can do: Take a few minutes to pen a message letting them know that they must not sell away our public lands, & CC it to your congressmen & senators & everybody else you can think of. That is how we stopped HR 621. They can only accomplish their agenda in the dark, & under the light of citizen scrutiny they will fail.  

But another threat to public lands remains

Utah’s Representative Jason Chaffetz officially withdrew his bill HR 621, also known as the Disposal of Excess Federal Lands Act of 2017.
The bill, which you can read in its entirety, directed the Secretary of the Interior to “sell certain Federal lands in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming, previously identified as suitable for disposal, and for other purposes.”
Conservatives and Sagebrush Rebel types have been pushing for federal land sales in the West for decades, and now that the political setup is overwhelmingly favorable to such actions, many in the outdoor community and beyond were extremely concerned about how this would affect our ability to enjoy our public lands as many of us have been doing for generations. Thankfully, public pressure and outreach from those groups got to Chaffetz’s office, and the Congressman announced on social media that he was withdrawing his own bill late on Wednesday, February 1st.
While the outdoor community is right to celebrate this victory, the Congressman introduced another bill this session that seems crafted to appeal directly to the same groups that would cheer the sale of federal public land to private interests. HR 622, the Local Enforcement for Local Lands Act, aims “To terminate the law enforcement functions of the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management and to provide block grants to States for the enforcement of Federal law on Federal land under the jurisdiction of these agencies, and for other purposes.”
In some parts of the West – including most of Chaffetz’s district in Utah – a movement of “Constitutional Sheriffs” has risen since the mid-1990s. Without solid legal or legislative backing, this group of law enforcement officials believes themselves to be constitutionally empowered as the highest law in the land, above both state and federal officials.
In the past, these sheriffs have refused to enforce federal and state environmental and preservationist laws they did not personally like or agree with, and removing the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management’s ability to enforce their own rules, laws, and policies and potentially leaving them at the mercy of enforcement agencies that don’t want to enforce specific laws is, perhaps, just as great a threat – if not a greater one – to our public lands.
Other bills that currently threaten public lands include:
    S 33 and S 132, which hobble the Antiquities Act (used by Presidents to establish National Monuments)
    S 22 and HR 243, which prohibit the Antiquities Act from being used in the state of Nevada
    HR 232, which transfers National Forests to states for logging.



5 comments:

  1. Don't forget the other Utah Rep. Rob Bishop another hater - seems he's got it in for the new Bears Ears Monument on "his"turf ! Notice the commonality here ? He gets most of his Political dollars from OutSide the State; big oil etc. according to an NPR story. Just pointing out Real Facts, not going to rant. That's all I got . . . for now.

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  2. Lou, keep pointing out the facts. There is a reason 1% of the population owns 95% of the wealth. That's not coincidence. It is the largely overlooked fact, & where all political/cultural discussion needs to be framed. But nothing new. Hamilton believed that "men of means" are the only ones capable of governing, & that is why, according to the Constitution, only white landowners should be allowed to vote -- & that is why there is an Electoral College, to create a drawbridge to governance in case the ignorant masses elect somebody who threatens the "merchants". Read Adam Smith for background on Hamilton's thinking. Of course the merchants whose governing base needs protecting are now the oil companies & banks, who are the real welfare recipients. Let's not forget that the 'hero', Reagan, bailed the banks to the tune of 136 billion$, while freezing labor wages. And then Bush did it again, not out of necessity, but just to cover their bets! And yes, you can bet there's oil & gas under that public land they seek to "dispose" of. 'Dispose' -- interesting word choice don't you think? There's a reason for that, & that is to make the land sound worthless so citizens won't protest its sale. For those who need an easy to understand outline of American politics & economics, here's a documentary that should be shown in every public high school. 'Requiem For The American Dream' narrated by Noam Chomsky.

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  3. Professors is this material gonna be on tomorrows test ? Just wondering if it is necessary to take notes or can I buy the "Cliff" version ! ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Just my way of wondering why I am at a loss for words. I understand the 1st sentence, and will follow the "instructions," but the rest of the "assignment" will take at least a semester to digest. Seeing as how I thought you were my ichthyology professor, the American history intro 102 seems out of place ! Perhaps you could delete the 1st sentence and rewrite this like a Chapter 3 adding how Hamilton, Smith, Reagan, and Bush were also into tying flies, when not swatting them on the golf course. Just a thought. ME, I'm going to bed now, it is after 9pm and I feel a headache coming on. Perhaps more on the topic if were all still here in the morning, and after I've had my, Mmmm Pour-over, cup of coffee. Lou

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  4. Morning Steve. Ah ,coffee & danish, what better way to start the day !
    You, Me . . . Boston, New York . . . Chomsky, Buckley . . . wow what a contrast, yet here we are in agreement more so than not on these issues we as Americans face in such "bizarre" times !
    Products of our environment ? Apparently not in this case ! I've nearly always been an "independent" thinker; believe I stated that a few times now - should I define that ? Chomsky was/is NOT anything remotely "Conservative"! He too a True "Independent" Thinker . HATE putting labels on People or defining reel concerns by slapping a Label to them -it tends to be hypocritical ! Yet we are all guilty ! Old habits tend to get recycled in times of stress ? I have NO idea what a "true conservative" is !? TO ME, most everything I read from you, not having to do with fly fishing, is progressive and caring, so . . . I find it difficult to understand You "tongue in cheek" swiping barbs at those Prez's ! More Dry Sarcasm ? tell me it's so.
    The facts -true facts - speak volumes, IF we've the mind to listen, about the Prez's since (say) WWII, have smoke filled basement deals all over the globe killing some "bad dudes" and MANY more Regular people for "America's(?)" self interests ? Non of them were "innocent," IF "We" are the "good guys"(?), what the hell does that say about the rest of the world ?
    The YouTube is a Fantastic tool . . . amazing what one can learn there . Not only can we hear what people say, we can SEE how they say it and the reactions of those in the room ! Then we have the (hopefully) ability to form our own Opinion, do s bit more "research" if we've a mind to, and pass it on !
    Relax, I don't feel like this has been a "rant;" actually feeling rather peaceful as the sun tries to sneak its way on to my LR carpet and warm up the joint ! Blue sky, wow !
    And with that . . . That's all I got . . . for now . . . . . . luv you Steve.

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