Utah Speakers Address Idaho Lawmakers About Federal Land Transfers

Feb 29, 2016

George Wentz (seated left) is an attorney who advocates for public land transfers in western states. Wentz was joined by two Utah lawmakers during a discussion at the Idaho Capitol Monday afternoon. Utah State Senator David Hinkins is pictured at the podium.
Credit Legislature Live screenshot

A packed meeting at the Idaho statehouse this afternoon focused on the hot topic of federal lands. The House and Senate resource committees convened to welcome speakers from Utah advocating that public lands be transferred from the federal government to Western states. The meeting did not include any public testimony.

Even without public testimony, many people in attendance made their disapproval known. At one point in the discussion, Democratic Senator Michelle Stennett asked Utah State Representative Keven Stratton a question about the process to change the constitution to allow for land transfers. His response prompted laughter from the audience.

“Providing that we’re going to need a change of federal and state constitutions, how long and how much money are you prepared to fight that fight?" asked Stennett.

“May I ask the good senator a question? My question to you would be: what is the price of liberty?" replied Stratton.

“Everybody would have a different definition, Sir," said Stennett.

According to Eye on Boise blog, many people in the audience wore stickers that said “Keep your hands off our public lands!”  The discussion comes one week after U.S. Representative Mike Simpson warned against the sale of public lands during a Forest Service budget meeting on Capitol Hill.  

Find Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill

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