The Whitehall Ledger - Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

By Jack H. Smith
Ledger Publisher 

Editorial: Bill withdrawn after rightful public outcry


February 8, 2017

The great thing about living in a democracy is people really do have a say. Last week was a perfect example of this both locally and on a national level.

United States Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) introduced a bill (HR-621) that would have sold 3.3 million acres of federal land, some of which included Montana as well as neighboring states Wyoming and Idaho. It did not take long for the word of the bill to spread, and there was immediate outrage from outdoor lovers from around the Western United States. The outrage was so severe that Chaffetz quickly withdrew the bill.

He had heard enough from residents from all over the nation that he did the right thing.

Chaffetz is not new to his position, he originally took office in 2008, so it was a little bit surprising he introduced something like this that would not only make the constituents of his state mad, but would in turn piss off the entire western United States. He learned the valuable lesson that you do not want to mess with the people who love to fish, camp, hunt, and hike.

He should of known better. This is our land, not yours to do whatever with.

It’s probably not prudent to get into the details of the bill that was based on a study nearly 20 years old, the most important thing is the government doesn’t need to get into the business of selling land so many love and cherish.

Let’s keep public lands in the hands of the people who love them, not sell them off.

Great job to everyone who attended rallies and let their voices be heard.



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