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View Diary: Urbanites and public lands (103 comments)

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  •  Don't forget the (0+ / 0-)

    original purpose for which the government annexed all of that "public" land--to make money for the government. The Department of the Interior was established to manage the resources of public lands for the benefit of the Treasury, not the benefit of the people. Public lands have become recreational lands over the middle and late decades of the 20th century, something Interior would rather not have happened. Leasing coal-uranium-oil-gas-timber-grasslands to the proper parties is really what the goverment would like to do, not maintain the national forests for recreationalists of whatever stripe. Recreation costs the government money, whereas leasing makes money. It has been a slow, laborious process to convince the government to change its attitude towards public lands. Sometimes small voices in the wilderness manage to be heard above the clanking din of drilling rigs, timber harvesters and earth movers and some small victory ensues; but never forget that when government bodies cast about for sources of funding the public lands are the first to feel the squeeze. At this point Sally Jewell looks better that Salazar the wolf-killer. We'll see how she handles the corporate interests.

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