Why concern? Because of the intentionally misleading numbers supplied by Rep. Bishop and the over-the-top propaganda supplied by the Sagebrush Coalition.
First: Bishop failed to include USDA/USFS oil and gas production in his numbers. He also failed to mention that oil and gas is produced on private land, state School and Institutional Trust Lands land, Native American Reservations, and yes, even land administered by the National Park Service in Utah. In fact, the Bureau of Land Management land that he mentions doesn’t even produce half the oil and gas in our state--which significantly repudiates his duplicitous conclusion.
Now for the sagebrush people: Their ad appears to be a monument to irony and/or hypocrisy. Closing with an admonition against engaging “groups that promote and serve an ideology fueled by fear” while at the same time crying about actions that will somehow cause “economic suffering” that’s “irrevocably detrimental,” they counsel against “conflict instead of solutions” (like their boycott proposal?), against “emotion instead of science” (and yet there is no scientific support offered anywhere in their ad) all while decrying “losing more State land” (as if a trade for more valuable land is “losing”). They denigrate “compromise” – apparently their own “solution” to our public land management issues should exclusively be rammed down our throats.
The sagebrush folks also warn “every few years the BLM creates more WSAs and the like,” despite the fact that the BLM hasn’t been allowed to do so since the Leavitt/Norton compact of 2003. The ad makes me think that the Sagebrush Coalition is the group that ought not to take part in the discussion for the very reasons they list.
Rob Bishop starts off with deceitful numbers, the Sagebrush Coalition offers nothing but similarly concocted rhetoric and hyperbole – and this is to be the “better framework” for addressing such an important issue?
We do indeed need to have an honest and rational conversation about our public lands. These folks have clearly shown that they have no intention of doing so – and we should be questioning why.
Fact, science and history all support protecting our land – for environmental, economic, and quality-of-life reasons – and we should all be working to do just that.