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State of the Debate
George Pyle
George Pyle has been a newspaper writer in Kansas, Utah, Upstate New York, and now Utah again, for more than 30 years - most of it as an editorial writer and columnist. Now on his second tour of duty on The Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board, he has also done a stretch as a talk radio host, published a book on the ongoing flaws of U.S.agricultural policy and, in 1998, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing. His most active bookmarks are Andrew Sullivan, Christopher Hitchens and Tina Brown. And he still thinks the Internet can be used for intelligent conversation and uplifting ideas.

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(Steve Griffin | The Salt Lake Tribune) West Jordan Republican Rep. Ken Ivory talks to the audience during town hall meeting about who should control Utah's public lands at the Main Library in Salt Lake City, Wednesday, May 14, 2014.
More conflict upon the land ...

Truth about public land gets lost in translation — George Pyle | The Salt Lake Tribune

" ... All [Pat] Shea, Democrat and former director of the Bureau of Land Management, and [Ken] Ivory, Republican state representative from West Jordan, had to argue about was whether Utah politicians should continue to waste their time, and their constituents’ money, pursuing their fool’s errand of taking "back" all that land that never, ever belonged to the state in the first place. ...

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"Chances that such a devolution of millions of acres of federal land to Western states will occur are miniscule. Chances that it will happen as long as Bundy and Lyman are leading the charge are infinitesimal.

"Chances that Ivory and Lockhart will rake in campaign contributions and delegate votes while they pursue this futile crusade are enormous. And that is what it all means. No translation necessary."

I swear, I didn’t know what Gehrke was writing. And he didn’t know what I was going to be on about.

Utah Rep. Ken Ivory’s quest for state control of public lands is all-consuming — Robert Gehrke | The Salt Lake Tribune

"It’s a big idea — trying to get the federal government to relinquish hundreds of millions of acres of public land to states. And for Utah Rep. Ken Ivory, it’s become an all-consuming crusade. It dominates his work as a part-time legislator and has taken over his private life, too. It’s how he makes his living. ..."

Regional history speaks to importance of public lands — Thad Box | For The Logan Herald-Journal

" ... History also tells us that public lands, properly managed, strengthen communities near them. Neither states, corporations nor individuals can take public land from we-the-people without an act passed by the U.S. Congress and signed by the president of the United States. We can picnic by a mountain stream and thank our fellow co-owners back east for contributing their taxes for our pleasure."

Wildfire danger begs for better preparation — Casper Star-Tribune Editorial

" ... As a result of failures on multiple fronts, Wyomingites and their fellow Westerners will greet the summer with heightened foreboding this year. Their livelihoods will rest on a wing and a prayer – or rather, fewer wings and lots more prayers."

Meanwhile, the Deseret News Sunday opinion section had four pieces on the public lands issue:

Chris Stewart: The deficit of trust between America and our government

Willie Grayeyes: Preserving our shared public lands

Phil Lyman: The BLM hasn’t kept its own rules

Scott Miller: The public interest in public lands

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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