Like another Tea Party figure who will never miss an opportunity to jump on a band wagon or pander for the sake of potential votes, or book sales, Ted Cruz has proposed an amendment to the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2014 which would force the federal government to sell off a significant portion of publicly owned land out West by prohibiting the federal government from owning more than 50 percent of any land within one state.
This would mean that the federal government would have to sell off the excess, or hand it over to the states.
That would include 50% of the land in states like Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Oregon and Alaska.
This land includes national parks, wildlife areas, and natural resources.
The cost of maintaining these areas would require the taxpayers of those states to cover the costs of maintaining those areas, or sell them off to get rid of the burden.
Considering who has been eyeing this land for profit, the best price would come from selling these lands off to companies involved in mining, drilling, and logging. Of course, since the taxpayers supply subsidies to these types of companies, it will ultimately be the taxpayers who buy the lands for them. So taxpayers lose access to these natural parks and natural wonders that we presently all own, and purchase them for companies who will make money off the taxpayers who bought it for them.
The amendment aligns Cruz with such interested groups as the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity.
Meanwhile, the fourth annual Conservation in the West Poll sponsored by Colorado College’s State of the Rockies showed that 72% of Westerners enjoy the use of the public lands out there.
And, although people like Cruz demand that the federal lands be given back to the states, the American public paid for and owned that land before there were any states there.
Will we get reimbursed for the money that was collected through our taxes to maintain that land, or will further tax dollars of ours be given to private companies to buy that land from us?,
And, if the states get our land and sell it, will they share the profits they make with the rest of us, or do they get to keep what they make by selling our property?
I am not sure why he chose the Sportsmen’s Act of 2014 as the best bill to attach his amendment to reduce public lands to, since that bill deals with expanding hunting, fishing, and shooting opportunities on public lands.
The people this bill is designed to benefit, sportsmen, do not support selling off the lands open to them for hunting, fishing, and shooting.
If the Cruz amendment does not wreck the bill and kill it, the Sportsmen’s Act would be good for the economy considering that in Colorado alone hunting and fishing is a $1.8 billion-a-year industry supporting 21,000 jobs.
But the benefit to the public as vacation destinations, to hunters and anglers to pursue their sports, or to the locals whose economies depend on their existence, appears to be less important to those who just love the fossil fuel industry and the Kochs from whom THEY benefit.
Wouldn't it be great if when they do sell the land, the cost of the mining, logging, and drilling companies' products go down in price to compensate us.
Yeah. That'll happen.
Instead, we can load the family into the campers, pitch the tents, and tell stories about hunting and fishing as we peer though the chain link fences with the "No Trespassing" signs on them.