Utah Rep. Withdraws Public Land Sale Bill After Massive Public Outcry

as published on The Idaho Statesman

“A Clear Victory for Native Wild Horses and Burros…”

keepitpublicUtah Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz said he will withdraw a bill ordering the Interior Secretary to sell or dispose of more than 3.3 million acres of public land.

Chaffetz had just reintroduced the bill when his office and Instagram account were flooded with protests from angry hunters, anglers and other outdoor enthusiasts.

“I am withdrawing HR 621,” Chaffetz tweeted late Wednesday. “I’m a proud gun owner, hunter and love our public lands.”

H.R. 621 was based on a 20-year-old report that Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt ordered to see what among the possibly disposable Bureau of Land Management land was available for sale or trade to complete the Everglades Restoration effort.

The 1997 report clearly showed that many of the parcels spread out across Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming had impediments to sale, including high disposal costs, critical natural or cultural resources, wildlife habitat, mineral claims, leases and hazardous conditions.

When he rolled out the bill earlier this week, Chaffetz said the land serves “no purpose for taxpayers.” His bill also would open the door to sales of other lands.

But he changed his tune Wednesday…

13 comments on “Utah Rep. Withdraws Public Land Sale Bill After Massive Public Outcry

  1. The notion that any land “has no purpose” is sheer folly. There are more organisms in a tablespoon of soil than there are human beings populating this planet, and we know next to nothing about the interrelationships between those organisms. Not to mention that without their existence and resilience in mere inches of topsoil, no humans could survive long.

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    • This is the description I found.
      “The bill, H.R. 621, called for the federal government to unload land in 10 western states that was identified during the administration of President Bill Clinton as “available for disposal or exchange” in conjunction with a restoration project in the Florida Everglades”.
      Doesnt sound like Pres.Clinton ever stated that the land “has no purpose” as told by Mr. Chaffetz, does it? Too bad he didnt tell the actual truth!
      Either way – does prove that if people speak loudly enough they can make a change. At least hunters & ranchers!

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  2. The notion that any land “has no purpose” is sheer hubris.

    First, there are more organisms in a tablespoon of healthy soil than there are human beings populating this planet. We know next to nothing about their interrelationships yet nearly all life (including ours) depends on their resilience in a very thin layer of the Earth’s crust.

    And further, the notion that something has to have a known purpose for human beings to have any value whatsoever is indefensible in 2017.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Rep. Chaffetz strikes me as an anti-hero. He voted against the ROAM Act and he seemed to express some hostility towards wild burros at one time, but last year an article came out about him taking photos of wild Mustangs and calling them “graceful” and “beautiful”. Yet again, he appears to accept the “overpopulation” notion. How genuine is he? Well, that’s anyone’s guess. And his voting decision on this bill perplexes me even more. I almost get the feeling that Katy Perry’s Hot n’ Cold was inspired by him. I want to believe that he has the right intentions, but he can he a very complicated and frustrating individual.

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  4. The hunters are not necessarily friends to our wild horses but I think it behooves us to be glad for their efforts and work with them when we can to save our public lands, because without those public lands we will lose our wild horses.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It behooves all of us wild horse and burro lovers and advocates to partner with other taxpaying citizens that enjoy the use of the public-federal open range, to keep our protected wild horses and burros free roaming (no fences) in their vast Herd Management Areas (HMA’s).

      Even if the other taxpayers that utilize the public land are hunters, fishermen, enjoy off-roading, hiking, etc, and perhaps don’t care all that much, if at all, about wild horses and burros, they will care if/when the federally protected FREE ROAMING (no fences) are all captured because currently the only creatures standing between them/us and their/our ability to utilize federal-public land ARE the horses and burros and the fact that as long as they are mandated to be able to FREE ROAM in their legal and rightful HMA’s, fences cannot be strung as far as the eye can see that would inhibit their ability to FREE ROAM in their HMA’s.

      If they are all captured and removed, it is my strong belief that fences will appear very quickly that will fence the public off OUR public land, or we’ll have to pay users fees on top of what our taxes already pay in maintenance on our public land so that private business interests make money from operating on public land with taxpayers footing the bill even if we’re fenced off the public land.

      It may be distasteful to have to suck it up and team up with other taxpayers that utilize public land for their own interests, however, if we don’t do it before the horses and burros are removed, it will be too late to unite and rally once their are fences all over the place.

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  5. Thanks Jason for doing the right thing

    On Feb 4, 2017 8:36 AM, “Straight from the Horse’s Heart” wrote:

    > R.T. Fitch posted: “By Rocky Barker as published on The Idaho Statesman “A > Clear Victory for Native Wild Horses and Burros…” Utah Republican Rep. > Jason Chaffetz said he will withdraw a bill ordering the Interior Secretary > to sell or dispose of more than 3.3 million acres” >

    Like

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