American Lands Council hosts meeting on federal land transfer

ST. GEORGE – The American Lands Council will hold an informational meeting about the proposed transfer of public lands to state control Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the Dixie State University Dunford Auditorium, 225 S. 700 East in St. George.

“Everybody’s concerned about healthy air, water, wildlife and a thriving economy,” Willie Billings, state director for the American Lands Council, said. “With so much of Utah’s land … controlled by the federal government, we feel like state control would manage the forests and the wildlife and everything better.”

Billings said that information about what the American Lands Council is trying to accomplish and what the public can do will be presented at the meeting.

“We’re going to outline how the public can get involved,” he said.

According to American Lands Council website, the group is a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization of individuals, counties, business and organizations which was founded by county commissioners in 2012. The mission of the American Lands Council is to secure local control of western public lands by transferring federal public lands to willing states.

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  • KarenS February 16, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    Interesting that the article does not mention Rep. Ken Ivory who founded the American Lands Council. The ALC, under Ken Ivory, raised $209,000 in 2013 and Ivory pulled a $95,000 salary, according to tax filings. He also paid his wife to work as a secretary. The American Lands Council was a sponsor of the rancher meetings that occurred in Cedar City and Boise with members of the armed occupation of the Oregon wildlife refuge in attendance. The purpose of the meetings was to get ranchers to tear up their grazing leases with the government so they could go on to claim all the land that their cattle grazed on as “improved” or “foraged” land, including federal land.

    So, pairing this group with the Utah Legislature (of which Ivory is a member), these people are determined to have public lands privatized. Anyone who uses public lands should be concerned.

  • delong February 16, 2016 at 4:32 pm

    Let the propaganda begin. Come learn how to be a true Bundy supporter.

  • [email protected] February 16, 2016 at 10:21 pm

    It’s not about how to better manage the lands, it’s all about money and having land to further develop and exploit.

  • beacon February 17, 2016 at 8:36 am

    Follow the money with ALC. It’s all about them and their pockets, not the wellbeing of the American people. ALC, Koch Brothers and others who support this effort are using the Bundys and other rural residents as their rubes to achieve their goals and will leave the rubes, literally, in the dust. See the poll conducted by Colorado College ( to see how Westerners REALLY feel about their public lands and the management of those lands by the feds. People should challenge ALC at the meeting with great force. Their founder Ken Ivory’s interpretation of the Constitution that is used to substantiate their position that the feds should turn lands over to the states is completely without merit. For the State of Utah to waste $14 million of our tax dollars on this is a travesty.

  • Real Life February 17, 2016 at 11:01 pm

    I trust the LOCAL government to handle our PUBLIC lands about as much as I trust the Bundys, or snakes, or making a deal with Hitler himself. I have never seen such GREED on this level.

  • Steven February 18, 2016 at 3:38 am

    WOW!!! The amazing amount of bigotry and ignorance congregated on one small space is incredible! Based on your statements, you must believe that the Federal government is benign and altruistic, while individuals (in the private sector) are “evil, greedy bastards” who just want to steal everybody’s money!

    Here’s a quote for you to consider, “Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is sheer force! Like fire it is at best a troublesome servant, at worst a fearful master. Never should it be left to irresponsible action.” Yeah, that’s from George Washington, the 1st President of the United States, at least under the Constitution.

    @KarenS, @delong, @Lelandsanders, and @beacon. I suggest you take the time to read Article I, Section 8, clause 17 of the US Constitution. That document is the “law of the Land” and written in very plain language. Here’s what this clause of the enumerated (specific and limited) powers of the Congress:

    “To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;”

    But please also pay close attention to the 18th and FINAL clause that makes it very clear what Congress shall do:

    “To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.”

    This means the Federal government can only own land for the Seat of Government (Washington D. C.) and land for the defense of the Country or “other needful Buildings.” NOWHERE does the federal government find in our Constitution the legal authority to own land for other purposes. And Congress can ONLY make laws “necessary and proper” to execute the powers listed and any others vested by THIS Constitution!! It’s illegal for the federal government to own land for national forests, for grazing, for mining or ANY OTHER reason other than what’s listed above.

    • Bender February 18, 2016 at 9:10 am

      TRIPLE WOW!!! The lack of perspective, and frankly, basic awareness concentrated in your post Steven is staggering. Based on your statement you must believe the federal government is “out to getcha.”

      @Steven, I suggest you take time to venture out of whatever far right conservative echo chamber online forums you haunt and do a simple Google search on “Article I, Section 8, clause 17”. The Snopes link is a good start. The Constitution means whatever the courts have decided it means. Your reading of Article I, Section 8, clause 17 is faulty.

    • Roy J February 18, 2016 at 9:41 am

      Umm, no. Having sat in on this meeting last night, it is now apparent to me that KarenS and the rest of the bigoted, ignorant commentators are spot on. The meeting was a spectacular Our Land love-fest. People came ready and able to rail against the federal government, but good old Willie B wasn’t going to have none of that: the only axes he wanted ground were how it was Bill Gates’ fault that Windows 10 decided to update during his presentation, how it was the Republican party’s fault that its’ caucus meetings forced him into a smaller venue on short notice, and how it was the audience’s fault for only having 32 people show up (cuz Cedar City had at least 64, you know). But that’s okay, because after speeding through a hundred or so slides of the merest relevance (but please note this one, it is an elk in the woods, and note you also this scorched bear cub, also by the way this is a snazzy photograph of some trees in a forest, it’s Montana, in case you were wondering) and meandering on about the federal government being big and wildfires happening, anyways at the end of all that fun we received the equivalent of a CutKo signup sheet with which to bother 25 of our nearest and dearest with, you know, so we could Storm the Caucus Meetings, and Strike Fear into the Candidates Hearts, because you know, they would never get elected unless they made the federal land transfer their tippy-top priority. Somebody wanted to talk about the Kingdom of Hawaii, and somebody else thought he might change his last name to Bundy. All in all, it was a real rip-roarer of a meeting. Willie B wound it all up with a zinger, a real bon mot: if any of those 32 people present thought they could be casual about this issue, they’d wind up a casuality. Talking and photographs. Best Night Ever!!! XD

      • Bender February 18, 2016 at 9:41 pm

        Very dangerous for the county to allow its brain trust to assemble together in one room like that Roy J. Our future would have been lost had the roof caved in.

  • Roy J February 19, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    It was a near thing, Bender, with such a glut of sky-is-falling narratives trying to balance atop such a paucity and stretch of evidence. I nearly feared for my Zzzz…XD

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