News and Commentary
Voice of Idaho Agriculture
Americans, and especially Idahoans, love and cherish public lands. We take it for granted that they will always be there for us to enjoy. Unfortunately, we all are incrementally being shut out of “our” public lands by the federal “managers.”
A few decades ago there was undeniably far more timber harvesting and livestock grazing on federally managed public lands. However, recreation is also being systematically shut down. Nearly everyone who hikes, bikes, camps, hunts or rides motorized vehicles has seen roads closed and areas restricted. The federal agencies are concentrating more people and activities on fewer acres; then imposing additional limitations when their own policies cause greater impacts. Restrictions increase every year.
Federal management is severely curtailing our outdoor opportunities. But what can be done about it? The best remedy would be to reclaim state management of public lands. This is the way it was supposed to work, but the feds have simply taken over where they were not authorized to do so. State management would solve many of the problems we face on public lands today, including burning up thousands of acres annually.
In an attempt to rally for the cause of reforming our nation’s broken immigration policy, farmers, ranchers and lobbyists from various business groups went to Washington D.C. on July 9 to encourage Congress to find a decisive way forward.
We hope this call to action didn’t fall on deaf ears.
Although we’ve lost our way in recent years, American politics is and always has been grounded in compromise wherein each side must give a little in order to find a positive outcome. Statesmanship is an art form that’s been lost in a cloud of partisanship.
However, immigration reform is a public policy topic that lends itself to compromise and in spite of strong indications that Congress has no appetite for the issue this year, the American Farm Bureau Federation is pushing hard for a solution.
The American Farm Bureau Federation recently reviewed EPA’s March 25 release of the ‘waters of the U.S.’ proposed rule. The results of the review are dismaying.
The Idaho Farm Bureau opposes the creation of a Boulder-White Cloud National Monument by presidential proclamation.
Forget potatoes, forget gems, while our state legislators are in Boise this spring they may want to consider an additional piece of legislation declaring Idaho “The Sage-Grouse State.”
It has a ring to it.
Fed bashing is a popular endeavor here in Idaho that a lot of outsiders don’t seem to understand. Following, in an attempt to shed some light, is a discussion on taking private property, managing federal property and wildlife management.
In its selection process of a route for a massive power transmission line across southern Idaho, the Bureau of Land Management listed eight criteria used in the decision making process.
Wolf recovery in the Northern Rocky Mountains is one of the greatest success stories in the history of the Endangered Species Act – that is unless you live here. In a period of time spanning less than 20 years, our federal government led by then Secretary of Interior Bruce Babbitt and President Bill Clinton, transplanted, recovered, and recently pulled nearly a million dollars in funding for wolf management activities.