Western lawmakers strategize on taking control of federal lands

The Legislative Summit on the Transfer of Public Lands, as it was called, was organized by Utah state Rep. Ken Ivory and Montana state Sen. Jennifer Fielder. Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, addressed the group over lunch, the Tribune reported.

“It’s simply time,” Ivory told reporters. “The urgency is now.”

Fielder said federal land management is hamstrung by bad policies, politicized science and severe federal budget cuts.

“Those of us who live in the rural areas know how to take care of lands,” said Fielder, a Republican who lives in the northwestern Montana town of Thompson Falls. “We have to start managing these lands. It’s the right thing to do for our people, for our environment, for our economy and for our freedoms.”