Source: Los Angeles Times
County commissioners in the rural American West possess the daunting authority of Afghan warlords, it’s been said. They wield their power by demanding federal agencies do their bidding in the vast expanse of public lands in which the counties are embedded. Too often, they have their way.
Last week, the Trump administration announced a plan to move the Bureau of Land Management’s top officials out of Washington and into regional western offices. The scheme will only exaggerate the influence of county commissioners, to the detriment of most Americans.
Western counties are enormous. Utah’s largest county, San Juan, at nearly 8,000 square miles, is larger than Connecticut and almost as big as New Jersey. Like many counties in the rural West, San Juan is too dry and too remote for dense settlement; fewer than two people per square mile live there.
Under the Trump administration, local officials in dozens of such unpopulated counties have been flexing their muscles, especially in Utah. Read the rest of this article HERE.