The Montrose County Commissioners recently passed a unanimous resolution to transfer our federal lands to the State of Colorado. This resolution is irresponsible and just plain stupid. First off it is an exercise in futility. It ain’t going to happen! This is just one more version of the “Sagebrush Rebellion” which first was an issue in the 1930’s in Western states. The most recent attempt was during the Reagan Administration under the deceptive name of “Asset Management.” It was an attempt to sell off a significant amount of federal lands. This went nowhere because hunters, fisherman, hikers, ATV users, dirt bikers, campers, grazing permittees and others did not want their public lands sold off. Apparently the commissioners want to give up the over $2.2 million plus PILT money. They cannot have given any thought as to how the state is going to afford to hire the professional foresters, engineers, archaeologists, geologists, wildlife biologists, range managers, law enforcement officers, technicians etc. needed to responsibly and effectively manage the National Forest, Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service lands. How about the money to maintain all the roads, mark and prepare timber sales and countless other expenses. The image of Montrose County is suffering from the continual irresponsible actions of our county commissioners. The accusation by Commissioner White that the public lands in Montrose County are not being managed well is just plain wrong. Certainly severe budget cut, in recent years, have had an adverse effect on management of these lands. However, the federal employees managing these lands are doing their best with the tools they have and don’t deserve the that criticism.
– Tom Heffernan, Chapter 1039, Natl. Assoc. of Active and Retired Fed. Emp.
Category: Letters to the Editor