Letters to the Editor

Brooks letter: Public lands

Takeover schemes not needed for better public lands management.

There are many reasons why the state of Idaho shouldn’t take over national public lands. Idaho will lose money, as the University of Idaho Policy Analysis Group study showed. When management costs exceed revenues, places Idahoans hunt, fish, camp, hike and paddle will likely be sold off. And, despite claims to the contrary, the state doesn’t need to take control of public lands for our voices to be heard. Federal laws require public involvement. The Bureau of Land Management is updating its planning process to give state and local governments, hunters, anglers, recreationists, ranchers and other stakeholders more opportunities to weigh in. Additionally, the Planning 2.0 rule will allow the public to speak out earlier in the process, before a draft management plan is written. The BLM has committed to a landscape-level approach to better consider potential impacts of energy development and other uses. If the state took over national public lands, what assurances would we have that public concerns would be addressed? If what you want is more say in public lands management and more transparent decision-making, then forget the takeover schemes. Encourage the BLM to modernize its planning process.

Brian Brooks, Boise