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Mostly TSD Weenie
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181 Posts
It is a good read, Don. Thanks.

I would like to add that patience, endless patience is a virtue when dealing with the USFS and BLM. I have been successful after others have failed. The key is lots of lead time and the ability to adapt and negotiate. They are required to make the land available to mixed uses and even if they don't want you, that can be used to your advantage.
 

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The Scorpion King
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678 Posts
It is an interesting article, but I think it misses a very important point. The Federal Government is basically acting as a trustee for the citizens in the management of public lands, so a new use of a piece of public land is naturally going to be contentious, as there are a variety of competing, and sometimes very entrenched, interests. I really feel sorry for the BLM employees that I've met who I consider to be both competent and committed to doing a good job, as Congress has given them a difficult task, and the ones who don't fall into that category just make it tougher. I think the bigger issue is that the Federal agencies in charge of managing the land are acting with complete disregard for valid prior rights. Even Cliven Bundy, who I strongly suspect belongs in jail for Contempt of Court, **may** have a legitimate gripe that the feds are depriving him of a water right (I don't even pretend to have a solid grasp of Arizona water law, much less Nevada, and given the speciousness of some of his claims, it might also be baseless), but the fact of the matter there is that rather than deal with the possibly legitimate issue, he did some truly bizarre stuff. A much better example is the City of Tombstone vs. United States (Arizona District Court 4:11-cv-00845-FRZ if you want to look it up). From reading the court records, there is very little doubt in my mind that the City has right to repair their water lines with mechanical equipment, Mexican Spotted Owl or not, and the Forest Service is really just being difficult (possibly because they would rather deal with getting sued by the City and the Goldwater Institute instead of some environmental group). Unless the Feds suddenly change their approach, the only solution at this point appears to me to be to follow Utah's lead and have the state fund lawsuits against the Federal Government when they overreach. But, politicians being what they are, most of them would rather just make speeches and maybe pass a few meaningless "symbolic" laws instead of actually opening the checkbook and girding up for a real fight.

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John
 
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