Stratton: the commission for the stewardship of public lands was specifically to deal with the transfer of lands since we continue to want to be a public lands state.
Stratton: we can do it through legislation or litigation.
Stratton: The legislature this year gave the commission $2 million to make sure we have the very best minds looking at this.
Stratton: I would say there are several issues we're trying to address but hte over-reach fo the EPA and the Endangered Species Act, so even if we have land transfer, there's still over-reach by those agencies.
Stratton: WE have a problem with wild horses.
Stratton: The response we get from the BLM is that "WE don't have the funding to address that issue." But they can deal with that in Nevada.
Fielder to Stratton: Describe the jurisdiction of state agencies to take action when necessary.
Stratton: Our legislation that allows the state to act if the fed agency isn't acting. A formal petition is presented to the agencies. The information would include the action taken if the agency can't address it.
Stratton: That legislation has been helpful in some measure because it gives a way to communicate. An effort to indemnify the subdivision was removed from the legislation.
Stratton: Our federal counterparts determined our national parks weren't necessary. So our legislative branches got together with the governor to fund the parks until they opened.
Stratton: We spend $10 milllion opening the parks and teh revenue was 10 times that. But that was a real solemn experience to see that our federal government (Congress) had failed to do what they were supposed to do.
Lieser to Stratton: Could you generate enough revenue to cover a severe fire year?
Stratton: The one concern we have in this area is - in the state of Utah, the last time they looked at national forest was 1980. Our concern is our forests are overgrown and can't be sustained by the moisture in the state.
Stratton: We're currently looking at that. We're looking at the notion of proper thinning and management of our forests. That would be a positive economic impact.
White to Stratton: regarding historic right-of-ways, how much help are you giving the counties?
Stratton: We've funded several million to gather evidence of those roads. IT's been an on-going issue and one of the reasons for the development of the council.
Stratton: We're 35 years past (when roads were closed). WE have support from our governor and our counties are where the rubber meets the road.
Stratton: We're supportive of what our counties are trying to do.
Vukovich to Stratton: have you appeared before us? Stratton: No.
Stratton said he wants to come up to visit "that wonderful" Glacier National Park.
Vukovich: I have a couple of counties that are 70 percent fed land and I have a real problem trying to figure out how the state would be able to fund taking care of fires in Montana. I don't know of any fed land that has been taken over by a state govt. Do you know of any? I just don't see how this can work.
Vukovich: I really compliment all four states wanting to cooperate. But to try to take over the fed lands by teh individual states. I just think we're headed for a train wreck.
Stratton: HB148 invited the transfer of fed lands by the end of 2014. "Taking back the fed lands" is probably not the right characterization to use.
Stratton: In other states, Florida was 90 percent owned. THe Dakotas used to have more. How does that take $151 trillion of energy is available. Not to rape and pillage the land but there's an opportunity.
Stratton: All the tremendous resources to be used in a provident manner. In Montana, with all the beautiful timber you have, Id' be asking what happened to all our sawmills? There's a resource that could be used to put people back to work.
Stratton: Thinning is much less costly than fighting a fire.
Stratton: In Utah, the econ analysis is underway. But it has to be funded by proper use of resources that are on the lands.
McChesney to Stratton: What actions is Utah taking to ensure that the lands willl remain in teh public trust?
Stratton: Our federal govt could take our parks and develop them. But 70 percent of our lands are public lands. 15 percent are state and public parks. We feel with teh financial soundness of the state of Utah as opposed to the govt, they have a better chance of being taken care of rather than at the federal level.
Stratton: I would add that the decision is impacted by the voice of the people. Legislators every year have to listen to the voice of the people. Our public lands are in safer lands with a well-managed state than they are in the hands of our fed stewards with the challenges they are facing.
McChesney: would there be a constitutional amendment to safeguard that land from being sold to a public entity.
Stratton: That would be something that would be well received.
Hamlett to Stratton: What about presidential executive orders? Could that return land to your state?
Stratton: That is a novel notion. It would be an interesting use of the antiquities pen.
Stratton: I'm not sure constitutionally if it would be given through an executive order.
Stratton: My opinion is our fed legislative bodies are irrelevant because of the power they've given to the executive.
Elko County (Nevada) Commissioner Demar Dahl up next.
Dahl: 89 percent of our land is owned by fed govt. We have a lot of the same problems as Wyom. Idaho and Utah.
Dahl: In the 2013 Leg, passed AB227 establishing a task force in contemplation of transfer of public lands to the state of Nevada. One county commissioner each for 17 members. Funding comes from the counties to pay for studies.
Dahl: Task force met monthly since July. Charged by legislation to address economic analysis, impact of a transfer. Can we afford the transfer and care for the environment in the state?
Dahl: We have an econm analysis completed by InterTech saying yes, Nevada can afford the transfer and can manage the land with a considerable net revenue as a result.
Dahl: Which lands do we want transferred?
Dahl: When they elected me as chair, I said you know I have an agenda but I will not push my agenda if you will honestly consider all the info we get and work toward a consensus.
Dahl: We will come as close as we can to a consensus.
Dahl: We have heard from Sierra Club, Nev. Cons league, nev wildlife coalition, econ development boards, agencies, lands, and so on.