Letter: Protect public lands | PostIndependent.com

Letter: Protect public lands

Recently the Board of Park County Commissioners passed a resolution opposing the effort to transfer or sell public lands to the state of Colorado or local governments. Park County joins seven other Colorado counties that have formally opposed the seizure of BLM and National Forest lands. That compares to just three counties that have made moves in favor of the idea. The over 2-to-1 ratio of counties in favor of keeping public lands in public hands mirrors the results of recent polls on the issue.

When presented with arguments for and against transferring public lands to the states, 62 percent of Colorado voters agreed that if national public lands were transferred to state ownership, the state of Colorado would “not have the funding to maintain these lands [and] … Some places [would] be auctioned off to the highest bidder, limiting our ability and that of future generations to enjoy these places.”

The Colorado chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers (BHA) agrees, and we’re not only defending our federal public lands heritage, but fighting to gain greater access to State Trust Lands (STLs). Colorado currently provides access to only about 20 percent (485,000 acres) of its STLs. Sportsmen and women are sick of being locked out of our state lands, so BHA is working to advance legislation that would provide the direction and funding needed to expand public access on STLs.

Colorado BHA is working with a coalition of other sportsmen’s organizations to advance state legislation that would require the state land board to work more cooperatively with CPW to better serve the growing public interest for improved public access on STLs. But we can’t do it without you.

For additional information see: http://tinyurl.com/zel8jk9.

David Lien

chairman, Colorado Backcountry Hunters & Anglers

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