The federal govt. did not "divest itself" of eastern lands--it never owned much back east in the first place; and what it has now it mostly had to buy! The Louisiana Purchase and treaties with Mexico and Great Britain brought the West into federal ownership. Land was then sold for homesteads, granted to railroads, and later, set aside for national parks, national forests, wildlife refuges, and military uses. Congress was very clear in western statehood acts--new states got some land for schools, Uncle Sam kept the rest and that's it. There's no eventually give away envisioned. In those days the US govt was land rich and cash poor. These nutty ideas that western states, who can't afford to adequately take care of what have now, could take on millions of new acres or flood the market with those acres doesn't pass the "silly" test. We've seen this push for state ownership of federal land cycle through about once a decade. They always fizzle when ranchers figure out what would happen if they had to pay the much higher state grazing fees, and when people who can do math figure out the cost to state governments.
I think we all should take note that this "drive to privatize" the ownership or management of public lands exists at both the state and the federal level. Daines vote in the US senate to allocate resources establishing a reserve fund to sell public lands is but one example. Federal land management agencies are desperate for additional sources of revenue and are quite prepared to transfer their management of public resources to the private sector. The management of campgrounds and federal lands are increasingly being outsourced to private contractors who immediately establish or increase usage fees. If you don't pay the fees you are guilty of trespass on PUBLIC lands. The USFS "Fee Demo" program is one example. Unless we do something or at least speak out against this theft your hunting, fishing, and recreation will end up as one more "pay to play" disneyland adventure.
I love the idea of Missoula owning its own water, just not this way.
What exactly should they have listened to? There's a video of you idiots going in, sitting on floor and throwing a tantrum!
Art Wittich is a Tea soaked Koch minion period. He is doing exactly what he has been hired by them to do. Stop all progress of this administration,get rid of Obama Care, Blah Blah Blah. Art is just another sara palin in a suit .
Another special interest money grabber slipping in with Natives to cloak their self interest... appearing to be for the greater good of all.
I'd prefer an open lands policy similar to what they have in Scotland. If it isn't industrially developed or clearly someone's backyard/surrounding maintained yard, then you have free range to freely walk across it.
Would solve the out of state'r land monopolists problem real quick.
Technically, The so called "City" of Hamilton, does not legally exist, Neither does Ravalli County. Hamilton is not Incorporated, and the County Seat is very Illegal, as are most things along this River. Everyone just looks the other way when this is brought up, but it is a fact. They make up the laws as they go. The people guiding this ship of fools cannot look each other in the eye, City Council, County Commissioners, Mayors, County Attorney, absolute heinous imposters.
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