Sunday, May 23, 2010

Congressman Jason Chaffetz wants to take away your favorite hunting or fishing spot

The GOP is taking the states rights mania in a dangerous direction for anyone in Utah that enjoys hunting (or fishing for that matter).

The Bureau of Land Management would have to sell off some 132,000 acres of public land in Utah and more than 3 million acres total in the West under legislation Rep. Jason Chaffetz introduced Wednesday.

So quick! Check if your favorite hunting (or fishing) spot is in that acreage. Here is a "helpful" map (pdf) provided by Chaffetz to determine which acreage will be sold.

Will you still be able to get to your favorite hunting (or fishing) spot? Who really knows and I doubt the GOP really cares.

The Utah Republican's measure orders the Interior secretary to sell all lands identified as excess in a 1997 study by the Clinton administration and sets up a process for 10 states to recoup those parcels for private development.

The states rights farce has completely blinded the GOP from using any rational thinking.

A bill introduced today would require the feds to sell off land that doesn't serve a public purpose.

Congressman Chaffetz is so busy pandering to the states rights cult that he thinks it is fair to use a 10+ year old study to determine what land has public value and what land doesn't. So if the elk or deer you hunt have found greener pasture in the past 10 years then you better start thinking about finding a new place to hunt. Even if this doesn't impact your favorite hunting spot; this legislation would still reduce the amount of open space that elk and deer need to do what they do. This is a raw deal for hunters no matter what.

So where is your favorite hunting organization in standing up to the GOP willing to sell our national heritage to the highest bidder? Where is Byron Bateman of the Utah chapter of the Sportsmen for Fish & Wildlife on this issue? As far as I can tell the organizations that claim to be preserving our hunting heritage are completely in the pocket of the GOP, no matter how outrages their proposals are. It is our obligation for future generations of hunters to ensure that Congressman Chaffetz's legislation never sees the light of day (thank God for a Democratic congress) and we must show that Republicans are no friends of hunters or fisherman and the GOP thinks our nation's heritage is for them and their friends to use.

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