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March 03, 2017 01:24 PM UTC

La Plata County Asks Tipton To Resist Whackadoo Public Lands Bill

  • by: Colorado Pols
Rep. Scott Tipton (R).

As the Durango Herald’s Jessica Pace reported this week–although Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah pulled a bill earlier this year to sell off “surplus” public lands under heavy criticism from conservationists, Chaffetz is evidently not done trying to weaken protections over wild Western lands–and locals in Southwest Colorado are sounding the alarm:

La Plata County commissioners and law enforcement have asked Congressman Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, to oppose a bill that would delegate responsibility for policing public lands to local agencies.

On Tuesday, commissioners Brad Blake and Julie Westendorff voted to approve the letter, addressed to Tipton as well as Sens. Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner. Commissioner Gwen Lachelt was absent.

The Local Enforcement for Local Lands Act, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, would terminate the law enforcement functions of the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management as well as related funding…

About 657 square miles, or 39 percent, of La Plata County is federal land. The transition would mean more deputies and record-keeping.

This bill appears to be another case of fancied “local control” of public resources, that in fact translates to a much larger burden for local governments–a burden they neither want nor need as relations between federal land managers and local governments are generally pretty good outside of Cliven Bundy territory. There’s no good reason to hand off this responsibility to local governments unless it’s your hope that there will be fewer resources available for law enforcement on federal lands.

You know, like Cliven Bundy wanted.

Responding to concerns from Southwest Colorado constituents, Rep. Scott Tipton seems, well, annoyed:

A spokeswoman for Tipton’s office said Tipton will review the county’s letter, and said the U.S. representative has supported or led multiple pro-public lands initiatives.

“He has voted repeatedly for funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and he is an original co-sponsor of a bill introduced by Rep. (Jared) Polis that expands the boundaries of the Arapaho National Forest,” spokeswoman Liz Payne said in a statement. “It seems like these things are either forgotten about or never get mentioned.”

That’s nice, but:

Payne said Tipton has no position on the law enforcement bill. [Pols emphasis]

So yes, it would seem that La Plata County’s letter expressing concern is justified.


13 thoughts on “La Plata County Asks Tipton To Resist Whackadoo Public Lands Bill

    1. Moldy.   You need to go to troll school.   It's the only way you'll have a prayer at gettinf one of those sweet paying gigs with AFP and out of your mommy's basement.   

      1. Another example of Moderatus trolling a topic and you guys fall for it once again. 

        HR 622; which is the number of the Chaffetz bill; is a bad bill intended to weaken the land management agencies. While there would be block grants to states as part of the bill, there is nothing in the bill at this time that determines amounts of those grants and no one knows what "strings" might be attached to those grants.

        And just for "funzies" to troll back at Moderatus, I know a number of federal LEOs and FPOs. They all have better and more important things to do than watching for pot smokers.  

        1. Agree with you on the falling for a stupid troll comment C.B.

          HR 622 was introduced by Chaffetz along with HR 621 which would have sold about three million acres of public land to the highest bidder which he later withdrew when it became apparent that selling public land would unite all outdoors enthusiasts in a historic 2018 Waterloo for western states Republicans.

          HR 622 is an insane bill because local sheriff departments would be stretched to the limit trying to do their regular job in local communities and then have to patrol thousands of acres land to protect against terrorists starting wildfires and meth labs and illegal immigrant communities living on federal land.  The other side of the equation is that vesting enforcement at the local level leaves the local sheriff subject to local influence by the Bundy's of the world.  It is a poor bill that hopefully will die somewhere along the line before it becomes a law.

  1. Tipton is expert at skating around the issues. He will say as little as possible, speak in soothing banalities, and try to please everyone.
    He's darn good at it.

    And it doesn't hurt that he looks like Alfred E. Newman. How can you not trust that face?

  2. Comrade Moderatov:

    You seem to think that Democrats and Liberals are all into weed.   Doesn't fit me, my husband, or the overwhelming number of my liberal friends, especially the ones in my church.



  3. It will be interesting to see how Tipton votes on this bill.  If he truly hates our federal lands and wants to see them destroyed through neglect and mismanagement then a yes vote on this bill wouldn't be surprising.

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