Saturday, June 18, 2016

The land transfer movement’s great public-lands hoax - Full Article

Idaho has sold off 40 percent of its state lands. Why would it do any different with formerly federal lands?

Brad Brooks
June 2, 2016

The disturbing thing about scams is that all too often they work. Some are easy to spot, like the foreign cousin you didn’t know you had who calls and needs cash wired immediately. Here in Idaho, the scam of the moment involves politicians trying hard to convince us that states should take control of public lands now managed by the federal government.

Like good used car salesmen, the legislators hawking this free-the-public-lands scam want you to believe that the deal is too good to walk away from. But a look under the hood reveals that the salesmen aren’t telling the whole story.

Recently, as a start at getting at the truth, The Wilderness Society conducted an analysis of how Idaho treats the lands it already manages. What the nonprofit organization found makes it hard to believe that Idaho politicians wouldn’t move quickly to sell off and close access to our public lands. Of the lands granted to Idaho when it became a state, Idaho has sold off 1.7 million acres –– just over 40 percent –– of the original amount. The primary buyers have been mining and timber companies. Other state lands sold off have since been developed into strip malls, country clubs and private fishing clubs...

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