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2016 GOP Platform and the Transfer of Federal Lands to the States

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posted on Jul, 17 2016 @ 08:57 PM
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Over July 11th and 12th, the Republican Resolutions Committee convened to draft the GOP 2016 party platform.
A fair number of planks in the soon-to-be-adopted platform have received media attention, such as; a push to use the Bible to teach US history, more regulations concerning gender and sexual orientation, and language that declares coal "an abundant, clean, affordable, reliable domestic energy resource", the identical words used by lobbying group, American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity.
So much for moving the party toward the middle.

But of all the ideas put forth, this particular one is a non-starter:

“Congress shall immediately pass universal legislation providing a timely and orderly mechanism requiring the federal government to convey certain federally controlled public lands to the states. We call upon all national and state leaders and representatives to exert their utmost power and influence to urge the transfer of those lands identified.”


Well, 'party platforms aren't binding', your protest.
But consider that approximately 2/3's of all platform policy is enacted, in some form, in the 4 years following a presidential election. source- High Country News

Why, in the year the National Parks Service is celebrating its 100th year anniversary, is this push to strip federal oversight our lands so strong?
According to the Center for American Progress there have been 44 anti-conservation bills introduced by the 114th Congress. The charge has been led by 20 republicans, mostly from western states, known as the Anti-Parks Caucus. Read the link above to learn more about Representatives Bishop, Hardy, Chaffetz, and others.

Thankfully, not all Republicans are onboard. Some, like U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke, from Montana, realize this is not the will of their constituents. He resigned his seat as a delegate of the platform committee this week, over this issue.
Granted, his resignation was also political. His democratic opponent is accusing the congressman of "voting to sell off public lands", and it's working. His re-election is in jeopardy.

Zinke also stated

"Quite frankly, most Republicans don't agree with it and most Montanans don't agree with it," Zinke said of transferring federal lands to the states. "What we do agree on is better management."


This sentiment, I wholeheartedly agree with. We can always do better.


so what happens when the States realize they can't afford to properly steward the land? Wildfires are a year-round threat in the west and they are expensive to combat. Paying personnel for administration can also add up quickly. Will we see sell-offs to the highest bidders?

In my opinion, and the opinion of others, privatization of public lands is the ultimate goal behind the local government stewardship agenda.
Just ask Utah state representative Ken Ivory, the American Lands Council, and the Koch brothers.
A large portion of the funding for the ALC comes from western county taxpayers without their knowledge.
The Kochs are also behind the push for uranium mining near the Grand Canyon.

The 'local lands are better managed by locals' mantra doesn't hold water.

First, that experiment was tried, and failed, in New Mexico. Valles Caldera National Preserve
Secondly, there is no guarantee the lands won't be sold off, once the states gain control.


America's lands and natural resources are precious. Our conservation efforts, such as the idea of National Parks, have been an inspiration worldwide. I don't want to see our last remaining swaths of forest and desert degraded. They are to be held in national trust for ourselves and posterity.

Please, don't let our national environmental treasure be plundered....it belongs to all of us.




posted on Jul, 17 2016 @ 09:12 PM
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so what happens when the States realize they can't afford to properly steward the land?


that was my first thought too, did anyone even bother to ask the states if they want the land or if they can even afford to care for it? before they decided to try and dump all this land on the states?



posted on Jul, 17 2016 @ 09:14 PM
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National Parks count for only about 12% of federally owned land. (27 million acres)

You might want to ask the Bundy family what they think about federal ownership of land.

The Bureau of Land Management controls an obscene amount of land. (245 million acres)

The GOP proposal calls for certain land to be returned to the states. It remains to be seen what land they intend to return.

I think that the Federal Government has way more control over land than they need to have.
edit on 7/17/16 by BlueAjah because: added acres



posted on Jul, 17 2016 @ 09:26 PM
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In addition, all states have some fairly impressive State parks.
States seem to understand the importance of land preservation. Why not let them have say over the land within their borders instead of the Federal Government?



posted on Jul, 17 2016 @ 09:48 PM
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a reply to: BlueAjah



You might want to ask the Bundy family what they think about federal ownership of land.

Deadbeats usually hate the people they have stolen from.


The Bureau of Land Management controls an obscene amount of land.

Yes they do and it's a good thing that they do because if they didn't then corporations would have turned most of it into wasteland.


The GOP proposal calls for certain land to be returned to the states. It remains to be seen what land they intend to return.

It's obvious the land that will be returned is the land their corporate masters want.



posted on Jul, 17 2016 @ 09:56 PM
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originally posted by: BlueAjah
In addition, all states have some fairly impressive State parks.
States seem to understand the importance of land preservation. Why not let them have say over the land within their borders instead of the Federal Government?

I take it that you don't know that some state parks also receives federal funding? Also there aren't any states that could really afford to take on any more parks because virtually every state is deep in debt.



posted on Jul, 17 2016 @ 09:57 PM
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Not to mention, there is a big difference between actual parks and land that was confiscated by executive decree or regulatory fiat because of a turtle or because too many grouse died that year.

Almost 50% of the land area west of the Rockies is federally owned and managed.

Do we honestly think that 50% of the Western US is critical national park like Yellowstone or Zion or Yosemite?

Ans exactly when and where is it in the COTUS that the Feds should be the majority land owners in any part of the country?



posted on Jul, 17 2016 @ 09:58 PM
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originally posted by: BlueAjah

I think that the Federal Government has way more control over land than they need to have.


I want to understand your position. Are you saying they exert too much control over the land we entrust them with, or that they have too much land under federal stewardship?

Take the BLM administered land, for example. How, in your opinion, should the land use be changed? Many millions of acres allow for off-road vehicle use, hiking, camping, grazing with permit, timber logging, and mining.



posted on Jul, 17 2016 @ 10:04 PM
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a reply to: Olivine

It's abundantly clear that the GOP has lost all knowledge of the Constitution aside from the 2nd Amendment which conveniently the DNC has lost the plot on.

Good grief America get your # together and vote in some people that at least understand Civics.



posted on Jul, 17 2016 @ 10:17 PM
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This year’s platform, which will be finalized at the upcoming GOP convention


I see some are literally crying over non existent spilt milk.

Get back to us after the convention.

Eh.



posted on Jul, 17 2016 @ 10:23 PM
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originally posted by: ketsuko
Not to mention, there is a big difference between actual parks and land that was confiscated by executive decree or regulatory fiat because of a turtle or because too many grouse died that year.



You say 'confiscated', I say 'protected' for posterity.

As far as land set aside to protect habitat for specific species, there needs to be a balance.
I will never understand the 'humans have dominion over animals mentality' that allows for the wholesale extermination of species, whether it be by habitat encroachment or over hunting. On the other hand, using the Endangered Species Act to set aside land is only a stop-gap measure. As a nation, we need a comprehensive plan that allows for habitat corridors for our native critters, while also allowing for human developments.



posted on Jul, 17 2016 @ 10:24 PM
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Its the simplest way for them to show they are returning things to the people without actually doing anything of substance...

I am not even awake yet and that was my first thought..



posted on Jul, 17 2016 @ 10:25 PM
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a reply to: Olivine

They want to mine it, pollute it, and develop it.

Uranium and coal mines, fancy golf courses with Grand Canyon views, condos and gated communities on pristine lakes, lumber, etc. Whatever resource they can turn a profit on, and damn the future, damn our national heritage.

This stinks of Big Money.



Could it be managed better? Heck yeah. Perhaps they should focus on funding that.



posted on Jul, 17 2016 @ 10:30 PM
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a reply to: Olivine

Keeping nature in balance can serve us as well.

Drought can be prevented by maintaining habitats for wildlife, such as beavers who make entire ecosystems with their dams. When they do this, rivers flourish and water returns to dry lands.

In other words, our ecosystem and the water we drink and farm with are connected to what happens in the surrounding environment.

Sigh.



posted on Jul, 17 2016 @ 10:37 PM
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originally posted by: neo96

I see some are literally crying over non existent spilt milk.

Get back to us after the convention.

Eh.

I will, but I don't expect the language to change. The GOP has been at this for years.

From the 2012 platform page 18:

In this context, Congress should reconsider whether parts of the federal government’s enormous landholdings and control of water in the West could be better used for ranching, mining, or forestry through private ownership.



posted on Jul, 17 2016 @ 10:40 PM
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posted on Jul, 17 2016 @ 10:57 PM
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originally posted by: AboveBoard

This stinks of Big Money.



Could it be managed better? Heck yeah. Perhaps they should focus on funding that.


It does indeed.

Interesting that you should mention funding.

Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed a Fiscal Year 2017 Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 5538) loaded with damaging riders that affect the National Wildlife Refuge System.
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I find it curious that the Wildlife Refuge System was targeted.
[sarcasm]
It couldn't have anything to do with Congressman Rob Bishop, R-Utah, Chairman of the Subcommittee over National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, and the January occupation of the Malhuer Wildlife Refuge? The incident that sees fellow Mormons, the Bundy clan, in jail awaiting their day in federal court. [/sarcasm]



posted on Jul, 17 2016 @ 11:04 PM
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a reply to: Olivine

This plan is a great idea.

We need less Federal regulation and more state control. Why in should the Feds control land that belongs to the people that actually live there? I don't understand why you think bigger Federal Government is the answer to anything.

Return the land to the people of the states.



posted on Jul, 17 2016 @ 11:15 PM
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a reply to: Metallicus

Thanks for your input.
I'm not asking for more or larger federal government; the feds (we) already administer the lands.
Those lands don't only belong to the people living in the states of Utah, Wyoming, Alaska, or Arizona. Federal lands belong to all of us. I'd like to keep it that way, so that an under-funded state doesn't sell those lands to make up for some budget shortfall, or some mining conglomerate pollutes the heck out of the environment, then bails out before clean-up.



posted on Jul, 18 2016 @ 01:25 AM
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a reply to: Olivine

I interpret the Federal Government to be more of an umbrella to hold the states together (loosely) than to be some entity that controls their lands and resources.

I think it really depends on what you believe the powers of the Federal Government to be and I don't see how they were ever granted the Constitutional powers to control the states in that way.


edit on 2016/7/18 by Metallicus because: (no reason given)



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