Selling off Federal Land

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Re: Selling off Federal Land

Postby AverageGuy » Sun Jan 01, 2017 9:52 pm

Never been done but Congress can reverse a National Monument designation. That may happen for the first time with Obama's latest moves. And Congress could repeal the law that gives Presidents that authority in the first place.

Congress can easily affect the funding of Agencies which write the regulations.

The people that MT Rancher is talking about are building their mansions on Ranchettes in what remains of critical wintering grounds, causing the winter kill while buying tote bags off the PBS channel...

I do not think these parcels being put up for sale are candidates for National Monuments.
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Re: Selling off Federal Land

Postby bhennessy » Sun Jan 01, 2017 10:57 pm

Just to be clear, by my count something like 40% of the designations have been made by republican presidents. Catering to their liberal friends I suppose?

I think too that lots of designations have been made or recommended by congress over the years, which has additionally granted Park status to 32 previously designated Monuments. (Take this one with a grain of salt...Wikipedia, like Facebook, isn't really a factual source)

I believe that our birthright, and that of our children and their children is unfettered acces to the unspoiled natural wonders of our country, regardless of state or other political boundaries. This is what the Antiquities Act is about.

Gwp4me, the Kiasatche NF here in Louisiana is yours to enjoy and beyond the vagaries and politics of Louisiana, thanks to Herbert Hoover.
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Re: Selling off Federal Land

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Mon Jan 02, 2017 12:28 am

AG is right. Yes, Congress can reverse a monument designation but I don't think a President can do so by executive order. Maybe, as AG said, he might cut off funding the monument though. These monuments are all by Presidential executive order using the Antiquities Act, which was first used by Teddy Roosevelt who passed the Act to begin with. Usually the areas designated are environmentally sensitive and considered by most to be deserving of protection. Obama has set aside really big areas of the Arctic and some other places, including the Bears Ears Monument in SE Utah but he's by no means the only president to do so as they pretty much all have. https://www.washingtonpost.com/national ... story.html For example, Jimmy Carter set aside the Misty Fjords Monument within the Tongass National Forest in Alaska and the dollars from tourism have far surpassed the value of clear cutting it.

Lengthy processes are involved in getting these monuments set up and the ones Obama established have been in the works for a long time. There's another being considered in Eastern Oregon that involves the Owyhee River and surrounding areas and involves all federal land but the local folks are up in arms as they say they are most affected and should therefore have more sayso than anybody else. Others, from the city for example, say they are just as much as citizen as the local folks and so their voice is just as weighty. Who knows? It's always very contentious.

With respect to the bill in the Natural Resource Committee that AG wanted us to write opposing, it should be understood that it is all about money and nothing to do with stewardship or management of forest lands. The bill would give each state up to two million acres of federal lands for the state to manage. Currently Alaska is going bankrupt because of low oil prices and their oil fields are drying up and so Rep Don Young's bill is about jobs cutting timber. It's not about whether the state or the feds can better manage forests. I lived in the Tongass for sixteen years and I know the forestry politics there pretty well. I saw the state clear-cut old growth forests up to our town's city limits and right down to our public beaches, and which ruined red salmon runs in vast watersheds and then the state sent the timber "in the round" to Korea. The only jobs we got were for cutting these gorgeous trees down; Korea got the jobs for making it all into plywood while our town's veneer plant stood idle next to the landing where Korean ships were loaded! See image I took below and our veneer plant in the distance.

So this bill (H.R 3650) is a land grab. Nothing more. You saw where it passed the Natural Resources Committee because of near complete Republican support. Were it to have come to a vote in the House it would have been defeated, and were it to have somehow passed both houses and gone for Obama's signature he would have vetoed it because he's pretty level headed when it comes to looking after our environment. Next month, with Republicans controlling both house and senate (and Trump in the oval office) many fear this bill could become a reality. Hopefully there are more Republicans than Zinke with an environmental conscience.

Personally, I'm for a balance in environmental issues that pit preservation against development. I am not all about preserving just for the sake of preserving but hopefully we will have thousands of years to screw up the planet so I don't feel compelled to do it all in our generation. And with the population of the earth having doubled since 1960 I expect they'll be lots of issues ahead.

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Re: Selling off Federal Land

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Mon Jan 02, 2017 12:38 am

apologies to Bennesse ... it took me so long to do the above post I didn't see yours.

I'm somewhat color blind but don't you all think the image of the logs against the background color of the page is just stunning? And they're big trees, no? Hundreds of years old too, or at least they were in 2004.
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Re: Selling off Federal Land

Postby AverageGuy » Mon Jan 02, 2017 8:49 am

When I think about logging my wish would be to the cut the timber at the same rate we are replacing (i.e. growing new trees) it elsewhere. I am not at all comfortable that is what is happening with certain species of trees. Someone cut the white oaks off my farm years ago and then overgrazed it to the extent that there has been poor regeneration. I will plant hundreds of white oak seedlings and perhaps wildlife and persons will enjoy them decades from now.

I am hopeful we can strike a sustainable balance relative to our natural resources. I expect that if a person contacts their Congressman about this issue/bill and wanders off into world hunger of global warming, fracking, ... it will fall on deaf ears. If instead a person conveyed their view and their vote is behind keeping public lands in the public trust, I think there is a chance to be influential. I do think we are going to see timber cutting and oil exploration on federal lands. Done right I am not opposed to it. I think in the current R majority Congress, asking for a sustainable and responsible approach to using the natural resources is what can be accomplished. Calling for complete hands off preservation will fall on deaf ears is my prediction.

Bruce touched on a thought I had as well. Sending there tracts to the States will bring a local bias towards jobs in a local economy that may not strike the right balance relative to the best overall long term interest of the resource and those using them from out of state.

Difficult issues currently and in the future for sure.
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Re: Selling off Federal Land

Postby ryanr » Mon Jan 02, 2017 8:45 pm

Bruce Schwartz wrote:apologies to Bennesse ... it took me so long to do the above post I didn't see yours.

I'm somewhat color blind but don't you all think the image of the logs against the background color of the page is just stunning? And they're big trees, no? Hundreds of years old too, or at least they were in 2004.


Gosh yes, I love the smell of fresh cut timber in the morning.

Sure is better than the Pebble Mine.
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Re: Selling off Federal Land

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Tue Jan 03, 2017 1:21 am

I apologize for being so preachy
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Re: Selling off Federal Land

Postby bhennessy » Tue Jan 03, 2017 9:45 am

You and me both Bruce but I just get worked up over this issue and the greed involved. Investors, developers, opportunistic politicians and anti-government whackos want to take OUR land for their own short term purposes and benefit. I don't trust state governments any further than I can throw them to take the long view on conservation for recreation and public access purposes, nor do they have the resources to do so.
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Re: Selling off Federal Land

Postby gwp4me2 » Tue Jan 03, 2017 1:39 pm

AverageGuy wrote:may not strike the right balance relative to the best overall long term interest of the resource and those using them from out of state


That's the real question isn't it. One person's 'balance' is another person's radical closure or environmental abuse. I've never seen state land restricted to only residents of the state. As far as I am familiar with around here the only difference between state and federally controlled land is that the state land is more open to public recreational use not to mention much less expensive if there are any fees at all.
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Re: Selling off Federal Land

Postby gwp4me2 » Tue Jan 03, 2017 3:10 pm

The other thing most people don't realize is that there are millions of acres of federal public land that you can't access/hunt anyway. The one ranch that I am familiar with has over 20 square miles the public land you can't see unless you are in a plane. Look at blm maps and see all the checkerboard. Much access to that land is controlled by the people who own the other half of the checkerboard. An equitable swap would open up millions of acres to public access.
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Re: Selling off Federal Land

Postby JASmith » Wed Jan 04, 2017 11:03 am

gwp4me2 wrote:The other thing most people don't realize is that there are millions of acres of federal public land that you can't access/hunt anyway. The one ranch that I am familiar with has over 20 square miles the public land you can't see unless you are in a plane. Look at blm maps and see all the checkerboard. Much access to that land is controlled by the people who own the other half of the checkerboard. An equitable swap would open up millions of acres to public access.


Exactly.

Some states actually do a really good job with managing state land for public USE. My state happens to be one of them, luckily. So I don't have quite the horrific viewpoint that some do on this subject.

With anything like this, it needs to be done on a case by case basis unfortunately. Some states would use the land for good, while others would just destroy it and turn it into fracking sands. I don't know of any good way to allow column a, without allowing column b.
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Re: Selling off Federal Land

Postby AverageGuy » Wed Jan 04, 2017 11:45 am

I think we have mixed a lot of important issues into this thread.

The legislation seems to be a lot more narrow than some of the issues brought up however, and seeks to put up National Forest tracts for sale to States for Timber Harvest. Timber harvest can be good or it can be bad. Many states are strapped for cash and jobs and I have concern it will override striking the right balance in protecting nearby streams and leaving adequate stands of timber within the purchased acreages vs a complete clear cutting.

It mentions States can buy the tracts. If they are paying for them you can bet they have an eye towards making that investment payoff, which might be ok. Or it might not. Once it is in State control only those in that State will have a say whereas currently we all have the possibility of influencing decisions and practices.

Just pointing out some things relative to this specific bill. The bigger issue is Federal Lands will be viewed as assets or liabilities depending on whether they generate money or not. We will all need to vigilant and vocal. Timber Harvest can be done right or done wrong. I have seen more private landowners do it wrong than right, so local control is no iron clad assurance either. My State has the best funded Conservation Department in the world and yet they get a lot of things wrong and have lost their ability to listen it seems. Now the R majority in every branch of our State Gov threatens to take their funding away which is not the right answer either.

My observations are there is not necessarily a best place for natural resources to reside but I do favor being able to have a voice in it vs none. I think some are understating the inherent threat in this bill that States buying the Tracts puts economic pressure on the natural resource to payoff relative to the purchase price. That makes my antenna go up immediately.
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Re: Selling off Federal Land

Postby mtlhdr » Wed Jan 04, 2017 5:36 pm

One "sportsman's view of national monuments":

http://www.fieldandstream.com/sportsman ... -monuments
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Re: Selling off Federal Land

Postby AverageGuy » Wed Jan 04, 2017 6:06 pm

Good information, but just to avoid any confusion, the bill and movement afoot in my original post has nothing to do with designating National Monuments.
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Re: Selling off Federal Land

Postby mtlhdr » Wed Jan 04, 2017 7:16 pm

AverageGuy wrote:Good information, but just to avoid any confusion, the bill and movement afoot in my original post has nothing to do with designating National Monuments.

Yes, good clarification. There was some previous discussion in thread re national monuments so I thought I'd throw that piece out there for consumption. Didn't mean to confuse anyone.

Back on topic with this one, more movement afoot:
http://www.backcountryhunters.org/house ... _provision
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