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Public Lands Master Thread

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Enough
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Public Lands Master Thread

Post by Enough »

Maybe it's time for a thread specifically dedicated to public land issues. We have everything from decreased protections to proposals to sell off most federal lands (inc. National Forests and Parks) percolating in this political climate. We even have a major political party that has made it a part of their platform to sell off federal lands. The House GOP just made a rules change that will make that process much easier to accomplish,
House Republicans on Tuesday changed the way Congress calculates the cost of transferring federal lands to the states and other entities, a move that will make it easier for members of the new Congress to cede federal control of public lands.
Basically this change means, ah heck why not give these lands away for free?
Under current Congressional Budget Office accounting rules, any transfer of federal land that generates revenue for the U.S. Treasury — whether through energy extraction, logging, grazing or other activities — has a cost. If lawmakers wanted to give such land to a state, local government or tribe, they would have to account for that loss in expected cash flow.

Bishop authored language in the new rules package that would overturn that requirement, saying any such transfers “shall not be considered as providing new budget authority, decreasing revenues, increasing mandatory spending, or increasing outlays.”
Now let's see how the self-styled Teddy Roosevelt apprentice, Donald Jr, is able to keep this from becoming a huge wedge issue. I know from tracking the CO delegation that folks have voted yes for this had promised local voters in the last election they would protect public lands. Tipton voted for this as did the likely new head of Interior for Trump, Zinke.

Our public lands are what we have for crown jewels in the USA. We don't have oodles of castles and jewels like Europe, but what we have I would rather have than any of that: outstanding public lands open to all to enjoy wildlife, nature, hunting, fishing, camping, photography, star parties and on and on. Let's not lose our greatness. If this happens, it's a done deal. The only way to claw those lands back after the feds cede them is really icky and very unlikely to succeed.

I would argue the threat to public lands is a far greater existential threat under Republican leadership then losing the right to bear arms under Democrats. Even if gun rights were gutted, that could be fixed by legislation. Once the public lands are sold, that's not something you can get back with just legislation and rule-making (even with eminent domain you are not going to get those lands back at Louisiana purchase prices lol). I hope all those hunters that voted straight R tickets for gun rights are happy when we no longer have any public lands worth a shit for hunting.
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by malchior »

This is insanity. Conservatives can't even stand by their own name anymore. This is looking a whole lot like what happened in Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union. Giveaways of public wealth to the oligarchs in favor.

Populism? Bah. These fools all got played. Also I'd like to see if someone could compare the scumbaggery embedded in this rules package to other years because it sure sounds like as people go through it - it is just corruption central.
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by Jeff V »

Trump promised a war against the environment, why expect any potential battlefield to be exempt? If it has exploitable resources, it's gonna be a target.
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by Pyperkub »

Actually, Trump said he'd run this country like a business.

I guess he's going to sell us off for parts.
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by Kraken »

Trump said (or tweeted, as he does instead of saying) that "this is the Republican Party, not the Conservative Party," and apparently conservatives aren't into conservation anyway. So I won't be surprised if they sell our patrimony for a handful of beans.
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by LordMortis »

I thought Trump came out against selling of federal lands. Congress, on the other hand can suck it.

Can't find the stuff from December but he's been consistent

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/donald-trum ... to-states/

This would be another great time for him to make a populist move. Especially as he rallied against the sales/transfer of federal lands as recently as shortly before Christmas.

https://www.google.com/#q=trump+federal+land+transfer

Edit:

Recent news

https://www.google.com/search?q=trump+f ... 17&tbm=nws

http://www.sltrib.com/home/4711383-155/ ... or-opposed
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by Enough »

LordMortis wrote:I thought Trump came out against selling of federal lands. Congress, on the other hand suck it.

Can't find the stuff from December but he's been consistent

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/donald-trum ... to-states/

This would be another great time for him to make a populist move. Especially as he rallied against the sales/transfer of federal lands as recently as shortly before Christmas.

https://www.google.com/#q=trump+federal+land+transfer

Edit:

Recent news

https://www.google.com/search?q=trump+f ... 17&tbm=nws

http://www.sltrib.com/home/4711383-155/ ... or-opposed
I likely was a bit esoteric, but that's what my self-styled Teddy apprentice comment was about. Also, Trump's interior pick just voted yes for the GOP action mentioned in the OP to make selling off public lands much easier (much to the CATO Institute's glee). Previously here I've linked to multiple stories about Eric Jr.'s love of hunting public lands. This is a huge ole-wedge issue for the Trump admin, but at the end of the day it's a major part of his party's platform. And the House is apparently moving forward with the plans.
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by LordMortis »

I was replying to everyone else seeming to say this is for Trump firesale of federal lands. This is happening because the 115th Congress is happening not because of the coming of Trump. Though, I'm still not sure how much of DJT you can take at face value. The 114th Congress did some posturing before their exit and I actually believe it was Trump who told them to sit the fuck down on behalf of the American people.

Trump has gone on record numerous times that he is against selling federal land nor even transferring it to states. I think populism could kill this literal land grab. Of course it may require populism...
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by Pyperkub »

I still remember the GOP and Schwarzenegger's brilliant (/sarcasm) plan to sell CA Government property (including offices and other public buildings) and then rent it back from private investors. What a rip-off that would have been.
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by Zarathud »

Congress thinks Trump isn't paying attention or can understand -- just like the move on the ethics committee.

They'll eventually be right. If Trump understands anything, it's about profiting from government real estate. See the new Washington Trump hotel.
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by Unagi »

Great thing about Rip, he will come by here soon and even find some way to be contrarian to all of this.

:pop:
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by Unagi »

Zarathud wrote:Congress thinks Trump isn't paying attention or can't understand -- just like the move on the ethics committee.

They'll eventually be right.
So true.
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by Rip »

It is nuanced. I don't want to see them selling off wide swaths of public land unless there is an obvious national interest to do so, but I also don't like seeing them landgrab. Hard to argue against them selling any yet be ok with them continuing to seize large swaths.
President Barack Obama has set a new record for the amount of land and water seized by a single chief executive: over 553 million acres, or about 865,000 square miles. That’s 30 percent more acreage than the entire state of Alaska and over three times the size of Texas.

Nearly half of that acreage — 260 million acres — was seized in 2016 as Obama undertook what his chief of staff, Denis McDonough, called “audacious executive action” in an attempt to circumvent Congress. Last week, Obama designated over 1.3 million acres in Utah as the Bears Ears National Monument and 300,000 acres in Nevada as the Gold Butte National Monument. In late August, he quadrupled the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, an area off the coast of Hawaii, creating the world’s largest marine reserve — a move that could cost local fishermen $10 million a year by preventing them from fishing in those waters. In February, the president took 1.8 million acres of California to create three new national monuments. In addition, his Fish and Wildlife Service commandeered portions of Alaska equivalent to the size of New Mexico over the course of six months.

Obama claims the authority to engage in such land grabs, often against the express wishes of state lawmakers, under the Antiquities Act of 1906. That law gives the president the power to designate areas of the country as national monuments, putting them under federal jurisdiction and off-limits to development, mining, drilling, lumbering, or even recreation.
http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/co ... r-seizures
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by LordMortis »

Unagi wrote:Great thing about Rip, he will come by here soon and even find some way to be contrarian to all of this.

:pop:
Booya!
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by Unagi »

Rip wrote:Hard to argue against them selling any yet be ok with them continuing to seize large swaths.
Why?
"Them" is the public.
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by Smoove_B »

Rip wrote:It is nuanced. I don't want to see them selling off wide swaths of public land unless there is an obvious national interest to do so, but I also don't like seeing them landgrab. Hard to argue against them selling any yet be ok with them continuing to seize large swaths.
To quote one of the greats:
Harmony with land is like harmony with a friend; you cannot cherish his right hand and chop off his left.
or
“We abuse land because we see it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.”


or
“Civilization has so cluttered this elemental man-earth relationship with gadgets and middlemen that awareness of it is growing dim. We fancy that industry supports us, forgetting what supports industry.”
Take your pick.
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by Kraken »

Unagi wrote:
Rip wrote:Hard to argue against them selling any yet be ok with them continuing to seize large swaths.
Why?
"Them" is the public.
"Seize" from whom? Kinda seems to me like they're protecting public lands from being seized, and this becomes more urgent as our population grows into those big square empty states.

Maybe I'd feel differently if I lived in a big square empty state. Since I don't, I say seize while the seizing's good.
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by malchior »

Kraken wrote:
Unagi wrote:
Rip wrote:Hard to argue against them selling any yet be ok with them continuing to seize large swaths.
Why?
"Them" is the public.
"Seize" from whom? Kinda seems to me like they're protecting public lands from being seized, and this becomes more urgent as our population grows into those big square empty states.

Maybe I'd feel differently if I lived in a big square empty state. Since I don't, I say seize while the seizing's good.
Exactly - designating land the government owns as parks or monuments is 'seizing' it nowadays? Considering the source I had to know it was garbage. And as usual it was dropped on the doorstep like the flaming bag of shit it was with a 'courtesy' door bell ring.
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by Enough »

Even though Trump, sons and their Interior Pick have made statements against selling off the public lands, Congress if pushing the idea forward in a big way (as in selling off lands the size of Connecticut). Last we checked in they figured out how to value the land at basically nothing so they can easily give away our crown jewels on the cheap, & now comes the sell off.
The new piece of legislation would direct the interior secretary to immediately sell off an area of public land the size of Connecticut. In a press release for House Bill 621, Chaffetz, a Tea Party Republican, claimed that the 3.3m acres of national land, maintained by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), served “no purpose for taxpayers”.
“Last I checked, hunters and fishermen were taxpayers,” said Amaro, who lives in a New Mexico county where 70,000 acres of federal lands are singled out. In total, his state, which sees $650m in economic activity from hunting and fishing, stands to lose 800,000 acres of BLM land, or more than the state of Rhode Island.
Ugh...
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by Freyland »

Can someone a lot more knowledgeable than me reassure me this scenario cannot possibly occur? What if these large tracts of land are sold to our Russian Puppetmasters? What is to prevent Russian sovereign land with Russian sovereign military from being in the midst of us?
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by hitbyambulance »

i'm not about to go into conspiracy theory land, but to me, the one-time, irreversible selling off of public assets to private interests seems pretty corrupt.
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by Enough »

Step 1: Make land sales very easy and cheap.
Step 2: Sell any public land you can get away with.
[New] Step 3: Let's drill the National Parks for oil since we know we probably can't sell those off.
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by LawBeefaroni »

Freyland wrote:Can someone a lot more knowledgeable than me reassure me this scenario cannot possibly occur? What if these large tracts of land are sold to our Russian Puppetmasters? What is to prevent Russian sovereign land with Russian sovereign military from being in the midst of us?
Why would it be sovereign Russian soil? It would be private land but under all the same laws as any other private land.
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by Freyland »

LawBeefaroni wrote:
Freyland wrote:Can someone a lot more knowledgeable than me reassure me this scenario cannot possibly occur? What if these large tracts of land are sold to our Russian Puppetmasters? What is to prevent Russian sovereign land with Russian sovereign military from being in the midst of us?
Why would it be sovereign Russian soil? It would be private land but under all the same laws as any other private land.
I don't know. The same reason the Louisiana Purchase isn't still French territory? That's why I'm asking.
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by Enough »

Pressure actually can work people, keep it up.

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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by Grifman »

Freyland wrote:Can someone a lot more knowledgeable than me reassure me this scenario cannot possibly occur? What if these large tracts of land are sold to our Russian Puppetmasters? What is to prevent Russian sovereign land with Russian sovereign military from being in the midst of us?

Ownership is not the same thing as sovereignty. I own land but the US is the sovereign govt. Otherwise, every land owner could declare themselves an independent nation.
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by Max Peck »

The important thing is that Bill Clinton's plan to sell off public land on the cheap has been foiled by Congressman Chaffetz. #MAGA
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by Isgrimnur »

Grifman wrote:
Freyland wrote:Can someone a lot more knowledgeable than me reassure me this scenario cannot possibly occur? What if these large tracts of land are sold to our Russian Puppetmasters? What is to prevent Russian sovereign land with Russian sovereign military from being in the midst of us?

Ownership is not the same thing as sovereignty. I own land but the US is the sovereign govt. Otherwise, every land owner could declare themselves an independent nation.
Reddit's AmIBeingDetained is devoted to humorously covering the sovereign citizen movement.
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by silverjon »

I find the statement from Chaffetz interesting re: "small parcels... identified as serving no public purpose".

I don't pretend to know the substance of the bill. I saw the same concerns others did framed in the same way.

But I also have a lot of experience with disposition of gov't-owned lands. Which, yup, is selling off property the gov't owns and doesn't need for anything anymore. Most surplus parcels I've reviewed have been former public facilities (offices, health care, sport/recreational, a halfway house) or previously used as workspaces from completed projects like major transportation corridors. I only deal with stuff on a level equivalent to a state, but a federal gov't would undoubtedly have title on a lot of similarly disused locations.

So maybe it was just bad timing while sending the wrong message. I don't know.

At any rate, do continue making your voices heard.

(edit: fixed a weird typo)
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by Isgrimnur »

Men's Journal
Back in 1997, then Secretary of Interior Bruce Babbitt was required by Congress to "examine their holdings" — basically to rank public lands that the government could sell off to support an Everglades restoration project. The list, which is hosted here on Jason Chaffetz's (R-UT) Congressional Website, offers up a whopping 3.368 million acres in 10 states — specifically Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming. While the exact land for sale is not identified, the counties where the land is held (190 in total) is. Connecting the dots isn't too hard to do to see which areas, and communities, will be affected. And it's clear that some of this so-called "disposal land" is far from worthless — especially for hunters, anglers, hikers, and bikers.

Why does this matter now? With public land sales back on the docket (H.R. 621, introduced by Chaffetz), this 1997 document is a sort of wish list of lands for sale (you can find another version on BLM's site). But even in 1997 this document was far from airtight: "Please note many lands identified appear to have conflicts which may preclude them from being considered for disposal or exchange," wrote then Assistant Secretary Bonnie Cohen. "Conflicts include high disposal costs, critical natural or cultural resources and habitat, mineral claims and leases, and hazardous conditions.” Many of the lands are home to endangered species, like the desert tortoise and Mexican gray wolf. Twenty years later, many of the potential conflicts have become more problematic, thanks to new National Monuments, newly identified species, and, let's not forget, outdoorsmen, who have always made use of the land — our land.
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Public Lands Master Thread

Post by Ralph-Wiggum »

Enough wrote:Pressure actually can work people, keep it up.

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Chaffetz should be pretty embarrassed by that 0-point buck he's holding.
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by gameoverman »

The way I look at this issue is this: The Feds can 'grab' a bunch of land and hold it. They can allow people to lease it, have recreational use on it, and all the people who need to be hired to handle all this will mean the land generates jobs as well as revenue. IF at some future time, it becomes obvious that the land should be removed from Federal control, it can be removed. No harm is done by protecting this land. Someone doesn't profit from being able to buy it, that's the worst you can say about the Feds holding it for the people.

On the other hand, if the Feds hand the lands to the states to do with as they wish, that's something that can't be undone or fixed. Once the land is gone and bought up by the mega wealthy or business, it's gone for good. You have to be very naive to not know the transfer of the land from Federal control is for one purpose and one purpose only, to make it possible to take it from the people.
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by Grifman »

gameoverman wrote:The way I look at this issue is this: The Feds can 'grab' a bunch of land and hold it.
This is wrong. The Feds aren't grabbing anything. Rip's false comments above not withstanding, the land is already owned by the federal govt in trust for the American people. When Obama declares land a national monument, he's doing this with land that the Feds already own. He's just giving it a special designation. It is totally false to call this, as Rip has, "seizing the land". This land is already owned by you and me.
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by Enough »

The outdoor industry is worth $646 billion a year ($80 billion in local/federal taxes) and provides 6.1 million jobs. And they have just decided after 20 years to move their main trade show out of Utah over the state's horrid public lands politics.
After an unproductive meeting between Gov. Gary Herbert and outdoor recreation business representatives, industry leaders say they hope to find a new location for the Outdoor Retailer shows "as soon as possible."

"Unfortunately, what we heard from Gov. Herbert was more of the same," according to a written statement by the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA), which has close ties to the massive, twice-yearly shows in Salt Lake City.

"It is clear that the governor indeed has a different perspective on the protections of public lands from that of our members and the majority of Western state voters, both Republicans and Democrats — that's bad for our American heritage, and it's bad for our businesses. We are therefore continuing our search for a new home as soon as possible."

The show's owner, Emerald Expositions, said in a news release that it would not include Utah in its request for proposals from cities hoping to host the trade shows, which bring about 40,000 visitors and $45 million to Salt Lake City each year.

"Salt Lake City has been hospitable to Outdoor Retailer and our industry for the past 20 years, but we are in lockstep with the outdoor community and are working on finding our new home," said Marisa Nicholson, show director for Outdoor Retailer.

Emerald Expositions also was considering Utah for the annual Interbike trade show, presently held in Las Vegas, but it no longer will accept the state's proposal to host the event, said Executive Vice President Darrell Denny.
The gov is pissed off,
The "offensive" decision, said Herbert spokesman Paul Edwards, "reflects a gross ingratitude."
Yeah, how inconsiderate of the industry that pumps billions into the economy of Utah to play defense when their entire industry is under an existential threat thanks to your policies. I mean, they let you guys bring your massive trade show to the state and fill local coffers with your crunchy love the outdoors money all these years and this is how you repay them?
The OIA said it specifically asked Herbert for four measures that outdoor businesses consider important to their future in Utah:

• End legal efforts or support for congressional action that would facilitate the sale or transfer of federal lands to the states.

• End efforts to nullify the Antiquities Act.

• Stop seeking to reverse the designation of Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah. Herbert this month signed a resolution from the Utah Legislature asking President Donald Trump to rescind the monument designation.

• Support other public lands "that provide the backbone of the industries sales," OIA wrote.

Herbert did not agree, Roberts said.

"For 20 years ... we feel like we've been a good partner and very upfront about our [member concerns]," Roberts said, "and what we've seen is sort of a ratcheting up over time in actions either by the Utah Legislature or the congressional delegation that really start to threaten public lands and the public's access to the lands."
We need more of this. 8-)
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by Enough »

Exciting news everybody! The BLM has a new website up. Apparently they want to go back to the Bureau of Livestock and Mining or maybe just the Bureau of Land Misuse. And they keep thinking they can just will coal into competitiveness, it's cute in a corn ethanol kind of way.

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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by $iljanus »

Enough wrote:Exciting news everybody! The BLM has a new website up. Apparently they want to go back to the Bureau of Livestock and Mining or maybe just the Bureau of Land Misuse. And they keep thinking they can just will coal into competitiveness, it's cute in a corn ethanol kind of way.

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They should have a colorful mascot! Well, as colorful as a coal based mascot can be. :(
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malchior
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by malchior »

Maybe they'll wish real hard and O&G producers will stop fracking to help out coal. My strong hunch is they won't.
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by Enough »

$iljanus wrote:They should have a colorful mascot! Well, as colorful as a coal based mascot can be. :(
[/quote]

I googled coal mascot and was not disappointed. I give you Hector the Giant Lump of Coal:

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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by Smoove_B »

I met someone quite a few years ago that told me all about the New Year's Eve Coal Drop in Shamokin, PA. The more I think about these things, the more our current timeline makes sense.
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$iljanus
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Re: Public Lands Master Thread

Post by $iljanus »

Enough wrote:
$iljanus wrote:They should have a colorful mascot! Well, as colorful as a coal based mascot can be. :(
I googled coal mascot and was not disappointed. I give you Hector the Giant Lump of Coal:

Image[/quote]
Those wacky Australians! They probably have a cute uranium mascot too.

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