Public Lands in Public Hands Live Chat!

Topgun 30-06

Banned
Jun 12, 2013
1,359
0
Allegan, MI
However it happened it's a great story. Glad to hear about land transferred to a state and now they can't sell it and it will be open to the public. Win all the way around.

So do you folks who don't think states should be in charge of managing land think this is a bad deal?
Depends on how it's done, who is the managing agency, and what stipulations are put on it as to what they can do or not do with it BEFORE it's exchanged or purchased, etc.
 

packmule

Veteran member
Jun 21, 2011
2,433
0
TX
That's a tricky place for a state park. A lot of it is one good storm surge away from being part of Matagorda Bay. Would normally be a good thing, but there are quite a few tracts like that sitting idle bc of lack of funding and there's not a lack of revenue rolling in.
 

shootbrownelk

Veteran member
Apr 11, 2011
1,454
41
Wyoming
This whole debate is really conjecture on both sides. One side says the land will be sold and the other says there would be no reason to sell it and it would be cheaper by having it under individual state management. Right now a lot of state laws would probably need to be changed and as long as Congress at the Federal level has to approve significant Federal land sales and it remains deadlocked with no party majority I doubt things will change. I know a little bit about land sales and swaps because a friend and I both appealed a tentative land swap in Wyoming between a rancher and the BLM. We lost at the local level and went through all the hoops and won an appeal at the Federal Judge level of the BLM in DC. However, the state BLM manager knowingly violated the law and signed off on the deed exchange while the appeal was in process. The Judge sent a letter castigating him for doing that, but then also sent us a letter apologizing for the violation and stated that our only recourse was to file an expensive appeal at the Federal level in DC that would have cost a fortune because he could not reverse the transaction at his level. Within a year or two the BLM manager in Cheyenne died a very excruciating death from cancer and it reminded me of an old saying that my Dad always had in that what goes around comes around. I'm pretty sure he got money under the table from the rancher to do what he did and I don't have little doubt that he was also involved in a very shady deal with the same millionaire rancher several years before that when they exchanged several thousand acres of land that the G&F even sent a letter to the BLM asking them not to because it wasn't landlocked BLM property and was a fantastic hunting and fishing property. Now I look over that land from a high point on what is left and see hundreds of elk that I could be hunting if it wasn't for that shady deal being made. I guess what I'm getting at is to be careful what you wish for because it may come back to bite you in the butt!
Couldn't have said it better TopGun!
 

shootbrownelk

Veteran member
Apr 11, 2011
1,454
41
Wyoming
Wyoming can and does sell state land. In fact all a lease holder has to do if he has a lease is recommend it for sale. The state land board is top heavy with those in the ag industry. Gov. Mead himself is a rancher. You can not camp or have an open fire on state land, and motorized vehicles (atv's) are largely banned, as the lease holder gets to set the rules. You CAN camp and have a fire on BLM.
I've seen too many State parcels closed off to access by lease holders to think anything will change. Ranchers & Ag interests control the legislature...They made the rules for the ranchers. If the State of Wyoming gets control of BLM & NF, kiss DIY hunting goodbye, unless you have real deep pockets. Who do you think passed the law requiring all Non-Residents to hire a guide while hunting in Wilderness areas? The Ag Legislature at the request of Ranchers/Outfitters. JMO
 

packmule

Veteran member
Jun 21, 2011
2,433
0
TX
There's a whole list of things to do to improve that situation, but pretty much all of them involve getting livestock off public land to remove unnecessary competition with wildlife. Could likely make up the difference in AUM fees by upping sales tax and collect off the NRs.
 

vince

Banned
Jul 10, 2012
107
0
Good points.

To me I think it depends on the situation. In a state like Oklahoma with limited federal land I think the state could likely do a better job of managing that land and do it with less cost to the taxpayers. I also think states might be able to avoid some of the red tape/lawsuits that seem to be a part of managing this land. The states also have more incentive to operate in a more financially responsible manner and to control the tourism industry. I know South Dakota inquired about operating MT Rushmore during the gov shutdown. In that situation the state had a lot to lose if Rushmroe was closed so they wanted to open it back up for the benefit of the state.

Aside from cost savings I think the states could do a better job. Has anybody ever heard of someone using over 100k acres of state land for 20 years without paying a dime? Then turning it into a PC nightmare/disaster, cluster funk? Nope. But that did happen on federal land recently.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bundy_Ranch_standoff
Has anybody ever heard of a state allowing a private individual to build a house on a road easement that blocked access to public land? It's happened on federal land recently.
http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/forest-proposes-new-trail-to-settle-encroachment-dispute/article_6e04f0b7-f161-5694-a20b-d760e5955b96.html

At the end of the day our federal government is inefficient and quite frankly not good at doing much of anything except wasting money.
You summed it up quite well.
The Feds aren't good at much except wasting money in my opinion.
 

okielite

Banned
Jul 30, 2014
401
0
NW Nebraska
Depends on how it's done, who is the managing agency, and what stipulations are put on it as to what they can do or not do with it BEFORE it's exchanged or purchased, etc.
In Nebraska the game and parks typically manage land like this. Many of the WMA's are ranches that were purchased or donated and are now great places to hunt with no roads or ATV use.

http://www.outdoorcentral.com/mc/pr/03/09/11b3.asp

NEW CHADRON CREEK RANCH WMA
OPENS TO THE PUBLIC

Chadron, Neb . - The recently purchased Chadron Creek Ranch Wildlife Management Area, 11 miles south of Chadron in the Pine Ridge, is open for public use, according to Gary Schlichtemeier, district wildlife manager at the Nebraska Game and Parks Commissions district office in Alliance.

"The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission approved purchase of the new WMA at their May meeting," Schlichtemeier said, "and weve recently completed our initial boundary marking and access to a parking lot. Grants from the Nebraska Environmental Trust and federal Wildlife Restoration Program funds will pay for the $1.85 million purchase."

"Chadron Creek Ranch WMA is located in the Pine Ridge escarpment in Dawes County," he added. "The 2,449-acre area is characterized by the interspersion of ponderosa pine, mixed prairie, deciduous canyons, woodlands, and moderately rough topography. The tract is approximately two miles south of Chadron State Park and a good portion of the area borders U. S. Forest Service property. To maintain the native flora and fauna of the tract, the area will be managed as a "natural area" - this ecosystem approach to management will be the guiding principle."

"Wildlife management areas are open to the public for hunting, trapping, and other outdoor recreational uses unless otherwise posted," Schlichtemeier added. "While the boundary fences are marked and a basic parking area is available, we will be completing additional work in the future. We wanted to have the area open to the public by the beginning of the 2003 Nebraska archery deer season on September 15."

Schlichtemeier added that fire danger throughout the Panhandle is very high.

"The taller stands of dried vegetation make it critical that everyone works to prevent the outbreak of wildfire. Avoid parking vehicles where the dried grasses can come in contact with the vehicles exhaust system and catalytic converters and be extremely careful with other fire hazards."

For additional information on the new Chadron Creek Ranch WMA, contact the district office of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, East Highway 2, Box 725 Alliance, NE 69301, (308) 763-2940.
 

vince

Banned
Jul 10, 2012
107
0
Sounds like Nebraska is doing a better job than the Feds.
Thank you for making my argument for me Topgun.
 

Topgun 30-06

Banned
Jun 12, 2013
1,359
0
Allegan, MI
That is correct! We take more deer and elk from a square mile section of state land that we know how to get to legally than anywhere else we hunt, including the private land we have access to. They can be some real honeyholes if you can find them and they have legal access.
 

Musket Man

Veteran member
Jul 20, 2011
6,457
0
colfax, wa
Atleast states have to balance their budgets. The Fed being able to spend more then they make has gotten out of hand. Only the Federal government could own that much land and loose money on it.......
 

tim

Veteran member
Jun 4, 2011
1,861
328
north idaho
I went and rode my mountain bike on a trail this weekend, that will be the last time I can legally ride it. Forest service is going to be treating the area as wilderness, so no more mountain biking in there.
Fricking greenies, thinking they are saving the world by keeping people out of the woods.
 

okielite

Banned
Jul 30, 2014
401
0
NW Nebraska
Atleast states have to balance their budgets. The Fed being able to spend more then they make has gotten out of hand. Only the Federal government could own that much land and loose money on it.......
+1,000



Give that land to a rancher and he will make money with it.
Give it to a farmer and he will make money farming it.
Give it to a logging company and they will make money with it
Give it to a drilling company and they will make money with it.
An outfitter, etc.....

Give it to the federal government and it will cost taxpayers a fortune to manage.

The way the feds treat it managing land is so expensive that only they could afford to lose that much money so nobody else can mange it. Makes no sense, but that is what they want you to believe. Basically they are saying "Nobody else can afford to waste this much money managing public land so you really have no choice in letting us manage the land"

Then you look at examples of states managing land successfully. Look at what Wyoming does with its state school land, makes a nice pile of $ for the state. Look at what states like South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma can accomplish managing wildlife and large pieces of land that they pay landowners so the public can access.
 

okielite

Banned
Jul 30, 2014
401
0
NW Nebraska
That is correct! We take more deer and elk from a square mile section of state land that we know how to get to legally than anywhere else we hunt, including the private land we have access to. They can be some real honeyholes if you can find them and they have legal access.
Interesting. If I remember correctly you are not a fan of states managing land successfully but you do spend time successfully hunting state land even when you have the choice to hunt other private or federal lands. Do you see the irony in telling us how bad the state is at managing land and then telling us you are heading out to hunt state land. The real interesting thing is that much state land in Wyoming is not managed like the federal land is but in your example the state land has really good hunting as well. That has been my experience as well. The federal land that has biologist doing studies and spending manpower on all sorts of unnecessary crap has the same wildlife as the unmanaged state and private that it shares borders with.
 

RockChucker30

Active Member
Feb 22, 2014
162
0
Tennessee
If public land transitions to private hands, it then transitions to its' highest and best use, PERIOD. Whether that helps or hurts hunters has absolutely no bearing on the decision, it is all about dollars and cents.

Perfect example is the coveted Kentucky cow elk archery tag I drew this year. I drew the Hazard Limited Entry Area, consisting of parts of three or four public Wildlife Management Areas, but most of the public access land was owned by the International Coal Group. ICG had an agreement with KDFWR to lease 15K acres to the state and allow public access in exchange for 1 elk tag for every 5k acres in the program. In 2013 52 of 55 elk killed in that LEA came from the ICG Hunter Access Area.

Here is where hunters (me) get screwed. ICG was bought out by a couple of investors. Those investors are trying to figure out who owns what in this tens of thousands of acres land deal, and decided that they had to pull the land from the public access program.

I've had to be re-drawn for the South at Large area, and have to gain access to private ground to be able to go on my elk hunt.

This is in stark contrast to my Colorado elk hunt where I simply buy an OTC tag, drive out, find some BLM or NF on a map, hike in and start hunting.

The East is primarily privately owned, and that private ownership is killing our hunting tradition. I spoke with a Fish and Game employee about this last week in preparation of writing an article on these issues and he said "By far the number one reason given for hunters to quit hunting is that they don't have a place to go."

In the West we have a place to go. We should protect it while we can, and enjoy it while it lasts.
 

okielite

Banned
Jul 30, 2014
401
0
NW Nebraska
We have already established that some states already have rules and regulations to prevent public land form being sold so it would be quite easy to set similar guidelines for future use and ownership if the land was transferred. This whole doom and gloom outlook that all public land will be lost forever is not based on reality. Seriously we already know how states are spending lots of $ to open up private land for public hunting to keep hunters coming to their state so why would we believe that suddenly Wyoming is going to get all the federal land and sell it off ? It makes no rational sense when people say that.