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About 150 sportsmen, many in hunter-orange baseball caps and some in camouflage, are rallying on the Capitol steps today against any sale or transfer of public lands. “We don’t want to risk losing the places where we fill our freezers as well as our hearts,” former state Rep. Elmer Martinez of Pocatello told the crowd. “These lands are part of our American identity, and they are not nor should be for sale.”
Polls across the West continue to show overwhelming support for continued federal ownership of public lands. But in rural communities like Riggins and Elk City, the frustration over the lack of jobs and other opportunities on federal lands has shifted the attitudes of many residents.
"We're in a pool of young people who agree with the transfer of public lands to the state," said Clyde Smith, 21, a ranch caretaker from Riggins.
"I think we have some ground to make up," said Chris Hunt of Trout Unlimited in Idaho.
That's why sportsman's groups like the Backcountry Hunters and Anglers have been created to focus simply on keeping public land open and habitat protected.
Read more here: http://www.idahostatesman.com/2015/02/15/3645849_management-debate-sees-...
"Imagine the people who would buy up our public lands," said Greg McReynolds, a representative of Trout Unlimited.
Pat Kilroy, a sportsman and veteran, told the crowd that many have fought and died for access to public land, and that they're not meant for private consumption; instead, they're part of a national heritage and should be accessible to all. For him, a state takeover would be unnecessary—if anything, it would be a harmful political gesture.
"I'm not sure we've identified a problem that needs a solution," he said.
The article I wrote a few weeks ago, regarding the possible use of bait in Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only Areas (DHALO) resulted in my inbox gathering more emails than I expected.
Washington is the only state left in the Pacific Northwest where people mining for gold and other minerals are allowed to use motorized vacuums in riverbeds.
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