Thursday, March 16, 2017

We Already Share and Use Our Public Lands

Last edited on March 16, 2017

At least two Idaho state legislative representatives are quite excited about the prospects of getting their hands on some, most or all 32 million acres of the federally owned lands in our state. This public lands take-over wet dream is also shared by the right wing conservative majority in other western states with Utah politicians being the most vocal. Locally, Representatives Megan Blanksma and Christie Zito are the noise makers.

The fence between cleaner and pooh-strewn on our public lands of Idaho
Photo Details:
Geographic Coordinates: 42.7709056, -116.298325
Date: March 15, 2016 at 3:48 P.M.
Owyhee County, Idaho.
Land Ownership: The people of the USA.
Photographer: Tim Bondy from Tim Bondy - Freelance Writer

In May 2016, Megan Blanksma and Christie Zito, then legislative district 32 candidates extolled their vision of how great it would be if we could more readily share our public lands with corporations and/or allowed the state of Idaho to "manage" all those lands. We already know Idaho is better known for selling their state lands than properly managing them.

The word "Manage" as used by Blanksma means "being in charge of" instead of  the other definition, "help in the administration of our public lands for all people."

Sharing Already - The Proof Is On The Land
On March 15, 2017, I went on a hike that started on Mud Flat Road in the Owyhee Mountains of southwestern Idaho. The cross-country hike took me up to Peak 5356 and back again. The first half of the hike was on the State of Idaho lands and likely some federally owned BLM grazing allotments also.

During the state and grazing allotment portion of the hike, I shared the land with a massive amount of cow patties. This is quite normal in this portion of the Owyhees. The fence and the lands seen beyond in the above photograph were conspicuously free of the shared cow patty environment.

Once I crawled under that fence, there was no more empty cans, junk or trash. Around the peak however, there were some old cow patties. I suspect these were from cows that migrated up to this area from another grazing allotment to the north and east. So Representative Christie Zito from Idaho Legislative District 23, we are sharing our lands. No more compromise required ... okay?

Finding Nemo the Cow Patty out in the desert is easy

Management For Corporations
Representative Blanksma from Idaho Legislative District 23 wants Idaho to manage, as in take full control of our federal lands. She has no real plan other than an old bill that Congressman Raul Labrador submitted a few years ago. That bill was just a public lands take-over idea.

The only way Idaho could afford to "manage" our federal lands is by selling off a good chunk of it and agreeing to use that money to manage the lands they grabbed from "We, the People." Remember, Idaho won't even fund education properly and local school district are forced to vote on funding levies every few years just so school buildings can be properly maintained.

Call To Action
I know there are a lot of people living in Idaho who wish to keep public lands public. These people come from all walks of life and use some of the 32 million acres of federally owned lands in many different ways.

There are concerned fishermen, kayakers, hikers, ORV users, motorcyclists, birder, hunters, rockhounders and explorers to name just some of the hobbyists I can think of.  If you use our public lands in a responsible and gentle way, please tell your state and federal elected officials to "Keep Public Lands Public ... now and forever."

Originally published on March 16, 2017.


Tim Bondy Freelance
Writer & Citizen Journalist

I am currently a proud citizen journalist, aka "enemy of the American People!"


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