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Op-ed: Ivory a man of integrity, and that’s why we chose him
First Published May 30 2014 04:39 pm • Last Updated May 30 2014 04:39 pm

Apparently, with management difficulties at the Salt Lake Tribune, their capacity to verify basic facts appears to have been diminished. Paul Rolly’s May 24, article titled "Lawmaker’s constitutional causes earn him money" is a prime example.

As the founders of the American Lands Council (ALC), we’d like to set the record straight about how and why ALC is leading the charge to transfer control of federally mismanaged public lands to the states under the leadership of Rep. Ken Ivory who serves tirelessly as the president of ALC.

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Local, state and national organizations, including Jordan School District and the National Association of Counties, to name just a few, have passed resolutions supporting the transfer of public lands. We invite people of goodwill everywhere to investigate the facts about this issue at www.AmericanLandsCouncil.org which presents the only solution big enough to fund education, better care for the environment, protect public access, and grow the economy locally and nationally.

Let’s take some of the most blatant examples from the Rolly article one by one:

First, a multistate group of county commissioners formed the American Lands Council, not Ken Ivory.

Second, we were extremely fortunate to be able to hire Mr. Ivory to work for ALC as our president. Mr. Ivory does not "pay himself" anything – we pay him, and he accepts far less than he is worth. We also hired his wife because she is a wonderful communications director and the only person who can keep up with Ken.

Third, Mr. Rolly has obviously not read Mr. Ivory’s book "Where’s the Line?" which Rolly describes as "throwing out alarmist signals about the overreach of the federal government and the threat to individual liberties."

Gov. Herbert captured the essence of this book with his kind remarks in the Foreword, "In his timely and constructive pamphlet, Representative Ken Ivory illuminates what the proper ‘line’ of separation between the states and the federal government should be, and outlines steps the states can take to discharge their duty to maintain it. He does this by drawing chiefly from the text of the Constitution itself, and on contemporaneous words of the Founding Fathers who wrote it and who give first-hand insight to their intent."

Fourth, yes, Mr. Ivory fought city hall – and won. What Mr. Rolly failed to point out is that Ivory sued West Jordan City, at the request of his neighbors, to block it from selling public park lands for commercial development. The City ran up legal bills in an effort to trounce a publicly interested citizen-lawyer from protecting public park property. You will notice there is no commercial development on the main Western Jordan City Park today.

As for Rolly citing misinformation from his own newspaper suggesting "Ivory repeatedly called elected officials lawbreakers ‘at the top of his lungs,’" the fact is Ivory asked the Mayor and City Council why they were not following specific laws – he never called anyone a name or raised his voice. The audio from this public hearing is available for Rolly or anyone else who wishes to confirm or report the truth. The District Court Judge agreed with Ivory, declaring that the City "concededly violated its own laws."

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Mr. Ivory’s integrity, passion, knowledge, and courage have earned him a salary that we gladly pay. We are fortunate to have a man of Ken Ivory’s caliber working so hard on behalf of the people of Utah and all of America. It is very disconcerting to see the Salt Lake Tribune misreport facts in what appears to be an agenda-driven effort to discredit a dedicated state representative – who is also an indispensable leader of the American Lands Council who has earned respect throughout the West and the nation for his leadership in a cause that is vital to our very way of life.

Demar Dahl, Elko County commissioner, Doug Heaton, Kane County commissioner, and Grant Gerber, Elko County commissioner, are founding board members of the American Lands Council.

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

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