Some presidential candidates want the federal government to divest itself of some land

Rocky Barker, a writer for the Idaho Statesman and author of Scorched Earth: How the Fires of Yellowstone Changed America, co-wrote an article on the newspaper’s web site about the land management platforms of some of the candidates for President. Rick Santorum, for example, thinks the federal government should sell or transfer much of their land, and Ron Paul wants to eliminate the Department of Interior.

Check out Mr. Barker’s article, but here are a few excerpts:

–GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum’s call to sell or transfer federally owned public lands Tuesday night in Boise earned him several rounds of applause.

–“We need to get it back into the hands of the states and even to the private sector,” Santorum told an overflow crowd at Boise’s Capital High School. “And we can make money doing it.”

–Santorum said Tuesday the nation could not afford to manage its federal estate. “The federal government doesn’t care about it, they don’t care about this land,” he said. “They don’t live here, they don’t care about it, we don’t care about it in Washington. It’s just flyover country for most of the bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.”

–Rep. Ron Paul has called for eliminating the Department of Interior, which manages more than 500 million acres of public land and a big chunk of Idaho, almost two-thirds of which is owned by the federal government. “I’d rather see the land owned and controlled by the states,” Paul told a crowd in Elko, Nev., earlier this month.

–Earlier this month, Romney told the Reno-Gazette Journal that he didn’t know why the federal government owned all the land and that he hadn’t studied the transfer issue. “But where government ownership of land is designed to satisfy, let’s say, the most extreme environmentalists, from keeping a population from developing their coal, their gold, their other resources for the benefit of the state, I would find that to be unacceptable,” Romney said.

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About Bill Gabbert

Wildland fire has been a major part of Bill Gabbert’s life for several decades. After growing up in the south, he migrated to southern California where he lived for 20 years, working as a wildland firefighter. Later he took his affinity for firefighting to Indiana and eventually the Black Hills of South Dakota where he was the Fire Management Officer for a group of seven national parks. Today he is the creator and owner of WildfireToday.com and Sagacity Wildfire Services and serves as an expert witness in wildland fire. If you are interested in wildland fire, welcome… grab a cup of coffee and put your feet up. Google+