A conservative state lawmaker and a liberal former director of the Bureau of Land Management argued the merits of a debate that’s sweeping the West — whether states should take control of federal lands and would they manage them better.
Their exchange, which included a few pointed barbs, during Wednesday’s Trib Talk may just be round one.
Former BLM Director Pat Shea challenged state Rep. Ken Ivory, R-West Jordan, to a formal debate at the University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute of Politics, and the lawmaker said he would accept such a challenge.
Wednesday’s conversation identified the deep philosophical disagreement that would underpin any such debate. Ivory argues the federal government used to own much of the land in states like Florida, Illinois and Nebraska and has since turned it over to private owners or the state. He believes it’s time for Western states to demand equal treatment in this matter and if Congress won’t comply, it may be time to launch a major court case. He said the land would be better managed and the profits from mining would help fund the state’s education system.
Shea was dismissive of such an idea.
The most succinct display of why the Federal government needs to be fiercely opposed. When people have this level of arrogance you dare not appease them. If you do, blood will flow—chains will be forged—and they’ll be patting themselves on the back for their supreme wisdom, and trumpeting all of the “good” they’re doing.
“I don’t think states are capable of the complexity of managing these lands.” —Former Bureau of Land Management Director, Pat Shea.
Translation: “We’re the godlike elites. Give us your money and your land; shut up, and get out of our way.”
Here we have a pompous jerk telling people they don’t know how to manage the land on which they live. Pat Shea apparently believes the all-knowing Feds are omniscient, and people like him have the “right stuff” to walk amongst us as human-deities.
Shea was obviously in DC too long–the infection is strong with this one.
The Bundy Ranchers demonstrated the way to deal with those who suffer from such delusions of grandeur. You don’t coddle wannabe tyrants; you stand together against them, and tell them to get lost.