Colorado College uses Outrageous, Biased Language to skew Public Lands Management Poll
How would you respond if you were told “anti-public lands militant extremists” wanted to take over your state?
Bill Grant’s editorial in the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel cites a survey conducted by the Colorado College 2016 State of the Rockies Project, purportedly showing wide-spread support for federal control of public lands in the West. Referring to the survey as “respected,” Grant failed to provide readers a link to the poll, or mention the falsehoods and biased language used in the poll to skew results toward what appear to be its desired results.
The survey itself is a paean to federal supremacy, and clearly attempts to lead one to believe that control of agencies such as the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, Fish & Wildlife, etc. is essential to the health of public lands. This is an excerpt from the published results of the poll. The use of “American Places” vs “State Places” is a deflection from the truth that federal control of public lands is much more removed from ordinary Americans that that of states.
The graphic below contains several fallacies about state efforts to transfer public lands management from federal agencies to state and local agencies. These are the facts:
The following press release, containing biased, inflammatory language, was distributed by Colorado College. It refers to the debate over public lands management as “anti-public lands rhetoric,” and labels proponents of local governance “militant extremists.”
In the letter, Eric Perramond, the Faculty Director of the State of the Rockies Project says, “Charges of government overreach from the ideological fringes are making the headlines…” clearly referring to citizens, legislators, and local leaders across the West who believe the federal government has done a less-than-adequate job of protecting public lands while defending the rights of Americans.
It would be impossible for anyone without extensive knowledge of existing public lands management, or the groups supporting the transfer of public lands from federal to state management, to make an informed response to this survey. It appears to be an effort to skew public opinion through inciting fear and misunderstanding.
The letter looks more like a fund-raising memo than an informative, unbiased explanation of a scientific poll.
While touting the “virtues” of federal control, and continued new designations for national monuments in the West, the survey fails to cite the environmental devastation and economic implosions those things have brought about. Not only does the survey use biased language, it lacks the balance required to be credible.
The American Lands Council, which is at the forefront of promoting the transfer of public lands from federal to state control in the West, affirms that “public lands remain public.” Below is an excerpt from of their public policy statement.
2. WE SUPPORT EXCLUDING EXISTING NATIONAL PARKS, CONGRESSIONALLY DESIGNATED WILDERNESS AREAS, INDIAN RESERVATIONS, AND MILITARY INSTALLATIONS FROM THE TRANSFER; AND
3. WE SUPPORT EQUIPPING FEDERAL, STATE, AND LOCAL AGENCIES WITH RESOURCES NECESSARY TO PLAN FOR A SUCCESSFUL TRANSITION TO STATE-BASED OWNERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT OF THE TRANSFERRED PUBLIC LANDS; AND
4. WE URGE MANAGEMENT PRIORITIES FOR THESE LANDS THAT WILL:
i. IMPROVE PUBLIC ACCESS: Protect public access, rights of way, and multiple-uses on public lands for all people including sportsmen, tourists, recreational users, subsistence and sustenance activities, and emergency access; and…
ii. IMPROVE ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH: Reduce catastrophic wildfire fuel loads that threaten communities, infrastructure, watersheds, critical wildlife habitat, and our environment. Facilitate restoration of healthy forests, range lands, and waterways; and…
iv. RETAIN PUBLIC OWNERSHIP OF PUBLIC LANDS: Federal public lands shall become state public lands to be managed in accordance with state and local plans; and…
x. GENERATE SELF-SUPPORTING FINANCE: Foster compatible economic productivity to support essential government services such as local roads, utilities, emergency services, public health and safety, education, justice, and other civic functions while reducing tax burdens on citizens nationally and offsetting federal Payment in Lieu of Taxes and Secure Rural Schools funds.
Faculty Director of the State of the Rockies Survey, Eric Perramond, can be reached here:
Posted by Reagangirl.com 3/2/2016