Tuesday, December 2, 2014
YF and R Discussion meet finals
YF and R Discussion Meet Finals: Public Land Management
Garden City--The 2014 YF&R Discussion meet came to a rousing end this evening in Boise with a timeless, controversial, provocative topic:
How would Idaho's federally-owned land would look like if held locally.
Most of the Gem State is owned by the federal government.
"Sixty-three percent of all land in Idaho is owned and managed by the government. One thing is for sure, if some of that land was managed locally agriculture statewide would surge," said Brett Wilder.
The panel seamlessly discussed pros and cons of the controversial issue.
"One thing we must not forget is the Payment in Lieu of Taxes, these small communities, especially where I live in Butte County have no tax money coming in, take away federal PILT payments and these small towns will suffer," said Lanae Nalder.
The panel discussed the problem of a federal government too big, with too much control and yet vulnerable.
"I remember the federal government shut down a few years back, it illustrated the problem of federal ownership of local land, they were completely shut down," said Erica Louder.
One panelist made the point of stewardship.
"Shifting the land, bringing it closer to privatization may not be the best extreme, but it might be better for the land," said Dusty Clark. "We have a vested interest in making the land productive to stay in business, we're the best stewards of the land. We aren't going to let cattle graze down to the dirt."
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