During a workshop at a conservative gathering in Denver, Jennifer Fielder of the American Lands Council said her campaign to return federal lands to state control is being well received by the Trump Administration.
One piece of Fielder’s effort involves crafting federal legislation defining a “universal mechanism that allows the states to apply for the lands incrementally as they are willing and ready to take on management of these areas.”
That legislation would be needed immediately if Utah succeeds in a planned lawsuit forcing the federal government to turn over federal lands to the states, said Fielder at the Western Conservative Summit at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver Saturday.
Under the bill, state legislatures would first identify desired federal lands and specify a date on which the state would be ready to assume management. Any valid rights and contracts to the federal lands would be honored, said Fielder.
“We are working with President Trump’s Administration,” said Fielder to about 150 people attending her June 9 workshop, titled “Constitutionally-Sound Solutions for our Public Lands – the Compelling Case to Transfer Federally Controlled Public Lands to Willing States.”
“His Administration has been great,” continued Fielder. “They are working really hard to reduce federal regulations and transfer management authority to municipalities and local governments in different small-scale instances.”
Fielder’s critics say public health and the environment would be put at risk, and treasured national lands would be subject to mismanagement if federal lands were taken out of federal control.
Asked by the Colorado Times Recorder for more details about Trump’s reaction to her proposals, Fielder said, “We think the door is open. We don’t know what the timing will be. A lot hinges on the Utah legal case coming forward. And when they get to the point where, ‘Hey, the courts made a ruling. We have to.’ Then it’s going to be a little bit easier of a pill to swallow, when they tell the public, ‘Hey, we have to. The court said.’”
“I have met President Trump one time,” Fielder continued.”I have talked to his sons for a little bit longer. I know [Interior] Secretary Zinke fairly well. And I have talked to a number of people in his administration since he has been elected. And it’s been refreshing to walk in down there and go into the top offices and have a friendly reception. There’s a lot of good people in there now at the top. And we got to get a lot more confirmed so we can have the bosses running the show too.”