Letters From the West

Idaho House Republicans tout national GOP support for public land transfer

Rep. Lawerence Denney and other GOP lawmakers

Rep. Lawerence Denney and other GOP lawmakers

Idaho Republican lawmakers are touting the support of the Republican National Committee for their efforts to demand the federal government turn over its lands in western states.

Rep. Lawerence Denney, a candidate for the Republican nomination for Idaho secretary of state, held a press conference with several House Republicans to announce the resolution approved by the GOP Jan 24.

The resolution says the federal government promised all newly created states it would transfer title to the public lands and honored the promise for eastern states and Hawaii but not western states where it still owns more than 50 percent of the land, 62 percent in Idaho.

After listing all the reasons the committee thought states could do better than the federal government including managing forests and preventing wildfires it said:

“RESOLVED, That the Republican National Committee calls upon all national and state leaders and representatives to exert their utmost power and influence to urge the imminent transfer of public lands to all willing western states for the benefit of these western states and for the nation as a whole.”

“It’s a matter of fairness,” Denney said.

Denney was joined by Republican Reps. Gayle Batt, Lenore Hardy Barrett, Judy Boyle, Vito Barbieri, Brent Crane, Terry Gestrin, Steven Harris, Ron Mendive, Jason Monks and Joe Palmer.

Rocky Barker is the energy and environment reporter for the Idaho Statesman and has been writing about the West since 1985. He is the author of Scorched Earth How the Fires of Yellowstone Changed America and co-producer of the movie Firestorm: Last Stand at Yellowstone, which was inspired by the book and broadcast on A&E Network. He also co-authored the Flyfisher's Guide to Idaho and the Wingshooter's Guide to Idaho with Ken Retallic. He also was on the Statesman’s team that covered the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news in 2007. The National Wildlife Federation awarded him its Conservation Achievement Award.

Posted in Letters from the West