Outdoors blog

THURSDAY, JAN. 9, 2014, 3:33 P.M.

Montana joins Idaho, Utah in hunt for federal lands

Hiking up Mount Tiny in the Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness of Montana. (Bob Clark)
Hiking up Mount Tiny in the Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness of Montana. (Bob Clark)

PUBLIC LANDS -- Idaho is about halfway through its two-year investigation on whether it should try to take over federal lands within the state. Opinions vary dramatically on how much it would cost the state if it was able to pull this off. State residents also have polarized opinions.

Now Montana is looking into the possibility.

Control of federal lands focus of Montana hearing
In 2013, the Montana Legislature ordered the Environmental Quality Council to study federal land management, and on Wednesday, the panel heard from Ken Ivory, a Utah state legislator who sponsored legislation to require the federal government to transfer lands to state control, and Tim France, an attorney for the National Wildlife Federation, as well as state Sen. Jennifer Fielder, who said surveys on the issue were sent to Montana counties where the federal government owned 15 percent or more of the land.
--Great Falls Tribune

Oregon, however, is taking a different tact of trying to work WITH federal forest managers:

State forestry leaders in Oregon know they alone can’t change the way federal forests are managed. But they joined Gov. John Kitzhaber Wednesday in outlining the changes they’d like to see as Congress considers several bills that would change forest management, according to a story by Northwest Public Radio.

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Rich Landers
Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.

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