Gov. Gary Herbert recently stated, "States that don’t protect laws against same-sex marriage drifting toward ‘anarchy.’" Is that really so?
What about Utah passing a law demanding that the BLM and U.S. Forest Service "give back" federally administered lands to the state? Is anarchy already here?
It seems that Ken Ivory, John Swallow, Rob Bishop and the like have gotten Utah into an indefensible and ridiculous position. Utah counties suing the Department of Interior for road access on BLM lands is another matter. Access is necessary if we are to protect, manage and use our public lands and their abundant resources, particularity renewable resources (wood, water, forage, wildlife and recreation). BLM Districts and Utah counties should be able to jointly manage lands and roads, with roads being under the jurisdiction of the counties.
There are approximately eight million acres of National Forest System lands in Utah, four million of which are called roadless areas, although they may contain hundreds of miles of roads. Adding these roadless areas to already designated wilderness areas leaves little NFS lands available for active resource management.
County Commissioners, Forest Service District Rangers and BLM District Managers should be able to agree on road systems that serve the needs of all the people. And the results should be agreed upon by Utah Gov. Herbert, BLM State Director Juan Palma and Regional Forester Nora Rasure. Gov. Herbert may have to involve President Obama and the Secretaries of Interior and Agriculture to allow this to happen.
By working together let us see what we can do to again make the Forest Service and BLM functional in "caring for the land and serving people."
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