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Comments about ‘Letter: Beautiful land in Utah, elsewhere should not be privatized’

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Published: Friday, Aug. 17 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

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procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: "Now the governor and his buddies are trying hard to bring the Texas-type "No Trespassing" signs . . . ."

Wrong.

State lands are administered, all over Utah, as wild and open land. They could also be sold to private landholders, subject to deed restrictions and conditions that leave public rights of use or passage.

Any sentiment among Utah politicians to lock public lands away from Utahns -- as unaccountable tree-hugging, vote buying Washington politicians are wont to do -- would quickly result in electoral defeat or recall of those politicians.

It's called accountability -- an unknown concept to federal bureaucrats.

Utahns are among the most passionate outdoor recreationists in the world. We won't stand for schemes -- like federal tree-hugging scams -- that would remove public lands from public use, permitting access only to foreign marijuana growers.

We trust accountable, local, Utah common sense, WAY more than we do faraway liberal, inside-the-Beltway bureaucrats.

one old man
Ogden, UT

An excellent and sensible letter. They've already made banks of streams and rivers in Utah off limits to the public.

Esquire
Springville, UT

Utahns won't like what the governor and his special interests have in store for us if they could get their way. The writer of this letter is right.

Emajor
Ogden, UT

procuradorfiscal,
What do you mean "we"? I'm a lifelong resident and I certainly do not trust Utah politicians to handle our public lands. Sorry, they only see dollars signs when they look at our landscapes, and that's a morally impoverished viewpoint. I'm very pleased that federal control has kept a Dutch coal strip mining company from ripping up the Grand Staircase. State politicians want to generate revenue, so such development will go up, and formerly public land will be locked up to private sale or leasing.

Since you are an outdoor enthusiast and feel terribly restricted by federal land management, perhaps you could pull out a detailed map of Utah and explain to me exactly where it is you want to go that the spiderweb of paved, graded dirt, jeep, and ATV trails will not take you? I've got my map right here. Seems to me 90% of federal land in this state lies within a mile or two of some road. 90% isn't enough? There is no end to the places you can explore with a 4X4 or ATV in this state. It would take a lifetime to see half of it.

Emajor
Ogden, UT

Any proposal to transfer ownership of federal lands to state control needs to have a very detailed cost analysis. The federal land management agencies spend a lot of money (millions? tens of millions?) managing these lands, money that the state will have to then spend just for basic oversight and management. Any revenue generated off of these lands will need to have this management cost subtracted from it before it will begin to benefit the public school funding problem the legislature has been stubbornly denying for decades anyway.

Can someone tell me with a straight face that the state legislature won't have a powerful incentive to sell and develop these lands at a greater rate just so they can bring in this revenue?

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

It seems like some people think that we have authorized the Federal Government to administer "public lands".

Before we concede that point and let the Federal Government manage those lands, would someone please show me, in the Constitution, where the Federal Government has been authority to "own" any land except for the District of Columbia?

Sending dollars to Washington so that they can send Federal busy-bodies to Utah to administer lands within the State of Utah makes no sense. Utah has enough people who will work and who can work to administer all the lands inside the State of Utah - without Federal "help" and without Federal "strings".

Bebyebe
UUU, UT

If you don't ever want access to those lands ever again, no fishing, no hunting, no hiking, then go ahead and privatize them.

J Thompson
SPRINGVILLE, UT

It seems that some people think that citizenship entitles them to use "public lands" without paying a "fee". I've always considered it my "right" to hunt and to fish and to hike on public lands, so I share those sentiments; however, the posters stated the obvious. They attached "value" to hunting and fishing and hiking. When value is associated with something, that implies that there can be (and probably ought to be) a cost to the consumer of that "value".

A license to fish and a license to hunt does not include the use of any property, private or public. It simply gives the user of that license the right to have in his possession fish or game.

A driver's license doesn't give us the "right" to use roads. We pay $0.48 per gallon of gas to use public roads. Owners of private roads are free to charge anything they want.

I am not advocating that the "government" should charge us to use "public" lands, but getting something of value and not paying for it is simply "redistribution of wealth".

The "privileged" get something of value without paying the full price for that value.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

The agenda of the rich and powerful in Utah is to flood the state with cheap labor and at the same time reserve the land for the use of the rich and powerful.

By turning every thing into private property, the rich and powerful can have their cake and eat it too. Cheap labor for their businesses and no overrun of the good stuff by ordinary people.

Esquire
Springville, UT

Utah does not have the resources to manage even the lands it does own. What makes you think it can manage the massive amount of land it is seeking from the Feds? The only way it to sell of the lands or rights, which will then restrict access to the public. This is a fools errand.

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: "What do you mean 'we'?"

I mean the vast, vast, vast majority of Utahns.

Radicals who spout utter nonsense about distant federal bureaucrats -- most of whom have never even seen Utah, let alone lived here -- being somehow more knowledgeable and worthy of administering most Utah land, than Utahns who've lived, worked, and played on that land for generations are, fortunately, a tiny and dwindling fraction of Utah's population.

one old man
Ogden, UT

Procurawhatever -- you wrote: "State lands are administered, all over Utah, as wild and open land. They could also be sold to private landholders, subject to deed restrictions and conditions that leave public rights of use or passage."

Are you hallucinating or just deluded? Do you really believe anyone would go for an idea like that?

But I have to agree with you that folks like you are, "fortunately, a tiny and dwindling fraction of Utah's population." But, man, are you guys noisy!

CHS 85
Sandy, UT

@procuradorfiscal

It's the American way. We obviously know how other countries should be run, as well. The same side of the aisle that screams "LOCAL CONTROL" are the same guys who decry and work to topple other governments and install what we think is best for them, whether they are prepared and ready or not.

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: "Are you hallucinating or just deluded?"

Maybe both -- I am responding to a true-believing liberal tree-hugger, after all.

But laying that aside for the moment, the real issue is local, accountable control vs. distant, unaccountable, cynical political control.

No one can honestly suggest clueless Washington bureaucrats are better, more accountable, more honest stewards of public lands than the Utah families who have, for generations, been ranching, farming, logging, mining, camping, hunting, fishing, and playing on those lands -- leaving them in the wonderful condition we find them in today.

At best, one might arguably suggest we've benefited from benign federal neglect in past years. But that stopped when Bill Clinton bought off tree-hugging radicals with Southern Utah lands. Similar scams being pushed by liberals today, lock away even more lands, making them available only to lawbreakers, like foreign marijuana growers.

I can't conceive of why that sounds better to tree huggers than either state administration, or sale of lands or rights, preserving public access as a deed condition or restriction.

Demo Dave
Holladay, UT

A thoughtful and honest letter that should be read and heeded by every member of the Utah Legislature. Sadly, they are genetically resistant to facts and knowledge, and therefore wouldn't understand it anyway.

Emajor
Ogden, UT

"I am responding to a true-believing liberal tree-hugger, after all"

Thanks, procuradorfiscal. I will sincerely take that as a compliment. You see, when I am labelled in such a way by someone who can see no value in the Creation unless it can be sold for money, I don't take it as the insult that it was intended.

The rest of your arguments are illogical. The reason the lands have been left in the "wonderful condition we find them in today" is not because of Utahns being good stewards. I've seen too many overgrazed rangelands, trampled streambanks, dewatered streams, illegal ATV trails criss-crossing the landscape, shot-up pictograph panels to believe that nonsense. The rampant overgrazing and subsequent landscape erosion in the late 1800s before the feds gained control of western lands also do not support your argument. Your type are not good stewards.

Marijuana growers? Seriously? Well, people make meth labs in their basements, so I guess privately owned housing is a bad idea too, eh?

You didn't answer my question about where on the map you cannot go because of the feds locking up public land. The land is open.

one old man
Ogden, UT

Emajor --- Kudos and congratulations to you. That is one of the best posts from a tree hugger in a long time.

(I wrote pretty much the same thing earlier, but DN must like to allow too many tree hugging posts. Ah, well.)

J Thompson
SPRINGVILLE, UT

We have over 3,000,000 people living in Utah. Saying that we can't manage public lands with people from Utah is complete, utter, unadulterated nonsense.

We can manage those lands.

We, the people of Utah, do not owe Washington any favors.

We, the people of Utah, have every right to manage UTAH lands.

The Constitution does not allow the Federal Government to own land in any State. That is not FEDERAL land. It is not private land. It is public land. Because it cannot be owned by the Federal Government, it reverts to the State.

Read the Constitution, the Supreme Law of the Land, before making statements about who owns what and who has authority to "manage" STATE property.

ugottabkidn
Sandy, UT

Sorry procuradorfiscal but the bureaucrats in Salt Lake have the same fallings as Washington. It's more about money than protecting and the author, inspite of your futile attempt to besmerch, has expressed a common opinion of the users of our states nature. Procuradorfiscal and others rail against one evil beheast of another but the objective is still the same, money.

Luvutah
TORREY, UT

Jan Brewer, Governor of AZ, took a pass on the opportunity to sue the Feds to return their "public lands". Why? Because she at least had enough sense to recognize that AZ cannot afford to maintain them and would have to sell them off to private interests, smothering their golden goose--tourism/recreation/hospitality. Yes, the same goose that lays the golden eggs of OUR state's (& especially RURAL Utah's) #1 economic driver!

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