Thursday, January 22, 2015

Don't Get Locked Out

Do you value public lands for hunting and fishing?

A couple years ago, I met a hunter in Southest Oregon who believed the balance between federal and local control of public lands in Oregon was skewed in the wrong direction. As we talked about public lands in Malheur County, he said, “We need to take back the management of our land from the federal government.” 
At the time I wasn’t aware of the debate over public lands management that was happening in Utah and other Western states, where  legislative efforts were under way in an attempt to turn federal public lands over to the states.
 I replied, “Are you sure that is a good thing? Malheur is the poorest county in the state. How is this county going to manage your public land if there are no funds available? What will happen to our wildlife and habitat? Will that impact our access to hunting and fishing?” 
His simple response: “We’ll still be able to do all that.”
The federal government holds our public lands in trust so current and future generations can enjoy the rich beauty and resources that they offer.Federally managed parcels provide access to popular fishing destinations like the Deschutes, Klamath and Grande Ronde Rivers. As a professional guide, we depend on the ability to share the beauty of our public lands with folks from across the nation.
Public lands rightfully belong to all Americans. In an increasingly crowded West where open space is rapidly becoming one the rarest and most valuable assets of the Western lifestyle, ensuring that these lands stay in the public trust is more important now than ever before.
Request that your elected officials actively pledge their support for our public lands legacy and reject efforts to transfer federal public lands to individual states. Find out more and sign the petition >