Reports the Magic Valley Times-News:
During his presentation, Ivory pointed out that in the past, the federal government has turned over lands to the state, mostly in the eastern half of the country. But once you head west, the states have much higher percentages of lands owned and controlled by the federal government.
Ivory said under federal control, the government is “loving the forests to death” with conservation policies that don’t work. Those policies don’t allow for fire-smart management practices, he argued. In the presentation, Ivory compared a map of U.S. wildfires of 250 acres or more with a map of federally controlled lands; the two maps were nearly identical, he pointed out.
Ivory also argued that returning the land to state control would make Idaho more financially independent — an important move, he said, as about 40 percent of Idaho’s revenues come from the federal government, which is facing its own pending financial crisis.
“This is about economic self-reliance,” Ivory said.