Republicans in the Colorado legislature have been trying to figure out how to seize control of national public lands in Colorado, but they’re not having much success.
One such effort, SB-232, failed to make it through the State Senate last night when Republicans couldn’t keep their votes intact; sponsored by Sen. Randy Baumgardner, SB-232 would have created a “Federal Land Management Commission” that would try to figure out how the state would manage federal lands. Sportsmen were not big fans of this bill, as the Denver Post’s Scott Willoughby pointed out last week:
With the clock winding down on the 2015 Colorado General Assembly calendar, the prophesy foretold by wary sportsmen alarmed by an increasingly radicalized contingent of elected officials in the West has entered the rudimentary stages of reality. To the fear and dismay of many who value the wide-open spaces intrinsic to Colorado — not to mention their tax dollars — the widely unpopular yet enduring attempt by this faction of officials to wrest control of federally managed public lands will move one step closer…
The fight over federal lands isn’t over entirely — not yet, anyway. There’s still the matter of SB-39, sponsored by part-time militia-dude Sen. Kent Lambert and Senate President Bill Cadman. This bill, which will likely be defeated in the State House before the 2015 legislative session ends next week, seeks to give Colorado “concurrent jurisdiction” over certain federal lands. As part of an effort to draw attention to these bizarre efforts to “claim” national public lands, Conservation Colorado staged a clever “mock auction” of public lands this morning. From a press release (full text after the jump):
The auction served as a warning of the potential for public lands to be sold after the state assumes control and discovers it does not have the financial resources to properly manage current national public lands.
“We don’t need to study or spend one moment more thinking about squandering our birthright, our shared inheritance of public lands. We have a responsibility to preserve our outdoor heritage for future generations and not lose access to lands that support outdoor recreation, hunting, and fishing,” said Pete Maysmith, Executive Director, Conservation Colorado.
Full disclosure: We bid $437 for Dinosaur National Monument.