Federal Lands

Over 90 percent of all federally controlled land is located in the West, with roughly one out of every two acres managed by D.C. bureaucrats nearly 2,000 miles away. We are told this is to preserve the environment, benefit local economies, and protect public recreation. Instead, federal mismanagement provides us with polluted air, dying forests, decimated wildlife, depressed economies and underfunded public education, and blocked recreational opportunities.

Our public lands, our wildlife, our communities, and our families deserve better. The Coalition for Self-Government in the West believes that local control and management of our public lands will provide this. Who better to care for the land and promote its beneficial uses than Westerners who live on and love it?

Quick Links

Why is it so important to demand control over our own lands? How can it be done? Can it be done? It’s all in this handy presentation.

Want to know the value of energy resources on federal lands in the Rocky Mountain West? It’s all here.

Is it legal for states to demand the federal government return some of their lands? See the opinion here.

Finally, we’ve distilled the economic value of energy resources on federal lands in several states down to short policy notes: Here’s Wyoming, Montana, and Utah.

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Latest Bears Ears poll transmits a false sense of security

Last week, The Salt Lake Tribune reported that a new Pew Charitable Trusts poll shows a slight majority of Utahns supports President Barack Obama in unilaterally designating the Bears Ears region as a national monument. The wording of the poll, however, is questionable. Pew asked 600 registered Utah voters the following question: “There is currently […]

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In new video, San Juan County children express hopes, dreams in face of possible Bears Ears national monument designation

In a new video released today (Facebook video/YouTube video), San Juan County children express their hopes and dreams for the future in the face of a possible national monument designation by President Barack Obama. The move would further restrict access to 1.9 million acres of what is largely multiple-use BLM and U.S. Forest Service land […]

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Blanket statements about federal lands paint inaccurate picture

Outside of elite counties, federal lands — parks or otherwise — provide no significant economic benefits to those who draw wages, run a farm or business, or are struggling to get by. – Tim Oren Last week’s Outdoor Retailer trade show brought state-of-the-art kayaks, rock climbing harnesses and camping gear to Salt Lake City. However, […]

The proposed Bears Ears national monument: A story of big money, out-of-state tribal leaders and environmental group collusion

The proposed Bears Ears national monument: A story of big money, out-of-state tribal leaders and environmental group collusion

Last week investigative journalism conducted by the Deseret News confirmed reports of behind-the-scene, coordinated efforts between environmental groups, out-of-state tribal leaders, and big money from California to bring about a 1.9-million-acre Bears Ears National Monument. While this is big news for many across the country, it comes as no surprise to the people of San […]

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10 questions about the Bears Ears for the outdoor retail industry

Yesterday, some of the country’s biggest outdoor retailers threw their support behind the proposed Bears Ears National Monument, despite opposition to the monument from most San Juan County residents. The press conference and panel event articulating their support were held in conjunction with the semi-annual Outdoor Retailer trade show. However, these events were closed to […]

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Are radical environmentalists trying to dupe Sec. Jewell?

On Saturday, thousands gathered at the Bluff Community Center in Southeastern Utah to share their opinion on the proposed Bears Ears National Monument with Sec. Sally Jewell and other visiting federal officials. As local San Juan County residents arrived, they were met by 100-degree temperatures, signs for and against the monument and a large contingency […]

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Finding that trail: How do Idaho, Montana, Utah and Wyoming manage recreation on public lands?

Updated July 5 to reflect corrected data. Outdoor recreational activities such as hiking, mountain biking, hunting, skiing and fishing are a way of life for most Westerners. But as population increases; new forms of outdoor recreation emerge; and access to federally managed public lands declines, the challenge of meeting growing demands for outdoor recreational access […]

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Op-ed: National Parks could learn from Utah’s state parks management

(S.L. Tribune) This year the National Park Service is celebrating its 100-year anniversary. But as the agency enters its second century, our national parks are in trouble. A recent study conducted by the Property and Environment Research Center (PERC) noted that the Park Service has a deferred maintenance backlog of nearly $12 billion — an […]

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Putting the Bears Ears in harm’s way

Supporters of the proposed Bears Ears National Monument paint a vivid picture of ATVs running over ancient pottery, tourists etching initials into petroglyphs, and archaeologists digging up Native American burial grounds. While there is no denying the sad reality of such activities in the past, San Juan County Navajos feel that public education campaigns and […]

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Will Bears Ears promises be kept? Look at history

Editor’s Note: This op-ed originally appeared May 22, 2016, in Deseret News. Supporters of a Bears Ears national monument often say the Native Americans who have the strongest connections to the land support the monument. They point to an Inter-Tribal Coalition letter to the president to justify this claim. The reality is that the Native […]