Over the weekend, I spotlighted the White House “Great Outdoors Initiative” and the administration’s campaign for federal land grabs-through-executive fiat.
The Obama War on the West continues.
GOP Rep. Rob Bishop of Utah has released the complete Bureau of Lands Management memo outlining a stealth federal land lock-up plan covering an area the size of Colorado and Wyoming combined. Via the Colorado Farm Bureau:
Bishop’s office has release the entire BLM document titled “Treasured Landscapes” of which only pages were released a few months ago. It lays out what some consider a sweeping and detailed plan for changing the way the federal government manages land over the next 25 years.
The document lays out a sea change in the way the federal government manages land. It proposed that rather than manage individual plots of land, regardless of size, the government should consider managing entire “landscapes, ecosystems, airsheds and watersheds.”
The document also gives a not-so-subtle clue as to the size of the land area it seeks to “protect”.
“Of the 264 million acres under BLM management, some 130-140 million acres are worthy of consideration as treasured lands. These areas, roughly equivalent in size to Colorado and Wyoming combined, are valuable for their unspoiled beauty…”
It took Bishop months to get the document, which lays out the context for the snippets released a few months ago.
“They have clearly been dragging their feet, and they don’t want to let us know what they’re trying to do,” Bishop says.
He is especially concerned about portions of the document that recommend using the Antiquities Act “should the legislative process not prove fruitful.” The act gives the president power to designate a national monument with no public or legislative input.
BLM dismisses criticism of the document by characterizing it merely as “brainstorming.” It’s become the standard alibi for Obama officials caught planning radical changes through regulatory means outside the legislative process.
And remember those “listening sessions” I reported on over the weekend? As if you needed evidence they were stacked and biased in favor of the anti-jobs, anti-growth enviromental radicals, the Grand Junction Sentinel reports:
Listening sessions held across the country, such as one last month in Grand Junction that was attended by Forest Service Chief Thomas Tidwell and BLM Director Robert Abbey, are intended to allow Americans a say in the way those lands and others are managed, the statement said.
The Moffat County Commission, which opposes plans by the BLM to cordon off the Vermillion Basin from natural gas drilling, wasn’t invited to the Grand Junction listening session, “So there you go,” Commissioner Audrey Danner said.
The agency’s description of the Vermillion Basin notes its whitewater river as one of the attributes that makes it worthy of more conservation-oriented management, and that is “absolutely incorrect,” Danner said.
The commission also disputes the description as having wildlife-migration corridors, though it does have animal population centers.
And lest you think the War on the West is confined to the West:
Efforts to designate new monuments, conservation areas, wild and scenic rivers and historic trails “should not be focused solely on the West,” the paper says, “but also include areas in the rest of the country that warrant such protection.”
I repeat: The War on the West is a war on property rights, a war on the economy, and a war on the American way of life.