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Public land takeover?

Forest scenery
Photo credits: Shutterstock

Hundreds rallied in Casper, Wyoming last weekend in opposition to the proposal to transfer federal land to state management.  The draft bill, which promises to maintain access to the land for multiple uses, has opponents saying that the controversial bill is only placating hunters and could easily compromise the way the land would be managed.

Land Tawney, president and CEO of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers (BHA), doesn’t believe the bill should be passed and told the WyoFile that “state management would shortchange wildlife and recreation and favor development.” His call to action against the proposed amendment to the Wyoming Constitution brought hundreds out in support for a rally organized by BHA, the Wyoming Wildlife Federation, and other conservation groups.

The federal government currently owns 48% of Wyoming, which is approximately 30 million acres of public land, according to WyoFile. As goHUNT previously reported, a recent report commissioned by the Office of State Lands and Investments found that transferring federal land to Wyoming is a bad idea because it would result in the loss of key federal funding and block the usages of the transferred land for multiple activities – despite the wording of the proposed bill.

“If they did pass this, what stops the state in a year, five years a decade from now, going back and saying ‘Oh we do need to sell some of these lands,’ and changing the state constitution again,” says Tawney.

Legislators on the Select Federal Natural Resource Management Committee met yesterday to review the draft amendment and hear public comments on the matter. There has not yet been any update on the results of yesterday’s meeting.




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Alexander K. - posted 3 years ago on 11-18-2016 05:43:45 am
Denver, CO

@Randy Thanks for putting up the link. Letters sent and I also joined BHA.

Brady J. Miller
Brady M. - posted 3 years ago on 11-17-2016 11:16:37 am
Las Vegas, NV
goHUNT Team

@Brett - Thanks. Like we discussed yesterday, I totally agree with you. This is a huge deal in the west. States like WY and NV for example could be greatly affected by this. Maybe not right away, but definitely down the road when the language changes and we lose our rights on that land. We also have another article in the works about this.

@Randy - thanks for including that link! I meant to add that to the article.

Randy D. - posted 3 years ago on 11-17-2016 09:41:32 am
Vancouver, WA

This is an issue we cannot afford to be silent on, especially in light of recent political events. Here is a link to a form letter from BHA that you can send to your congressperson, letting him or her know where you stand:

The more of us hunters they hear from, the more they'll take us seriously.

BRETT S. - posted 3 years ago on 11-17-2016 08:10:09 am

Thanks for posting the story Kristen...and Brady:-)

Seems like most hunters just blow off the federal land transfer movement thinking it could never happen. Hunters need to wake up and realize this has a lot of support in congress right now. People need to become more active in the issue. Email your local representatives.....join BHA, Theodore Roosevelt, or RMEF, etc. I don't always see eye to eye with some of these groups but at least they're fighting for our public lands.