This year's Western Republican Leadership Conference promises to be a bold and energetic event headlined by Sen Ted Cruz, Sen Mike Lee, Sen Orrin Hatch, Mia Love, Utah Gov Gary Herbert, NM Gov Susana Martinez, Congressman Raul Labrador and RNC Chairman Reince Priebus April 23-25 in Salt Lake City, UT.
Utah Representative Ken Ivory, Nevada State Senator Mark Hutchison, and Montana State Senator Jennifer Fielder will lead off the Friday morning panel discussing the growing national movement to transfer federally managed public lands to the states.
With a fiscally challenged federal government that is known more for mismanagement than management and is systematically implementing massive public access closures across the west, the effort to turn control of public lands over to the states has picked up national support. Several states already passed legislation to enact or study the issue and some are taking steps to prepare for what many believe is an inevitable transition to responsible management through localized decision making authority.
In 2013 the National Association of Counties passed a resolution calling for transfer of federally managed public lands to the states. At the recent Republican National Committee winter meeting a resolution passed calling upon "all national and state leaders and representatives to exert their utmost power and influence to urge the imminent transfer of public lands to all willing western states for the benefit of these western states and for the nation as a whole." That resolution passed with overwhelming support.
Panelists will delve into the legal and historical case for the transfer of public lands as well as environmental and economic successes of the state management models which sharply contrast the failed federal approach that has emanated from Washington DC in recent decades.
Retired school teacher and Congressman Rob Bishop and others will follow up the transfer of lands topic by spotlighting the untapped potential for the west and how that relates to better funding local services and education.
According to the Institute for Energy Research there is over $150 trillion of energy resources locked up on federally held lands in the west. The advantages of modern technology allow for environmentally responsible resource production, but antiquated federal policies and neo-environmental obstructionists have driven public access and production to all time lows.
Cruz, Lee, Priebus & Utah Governor Gary Herbert are scheduled to host the main event Friday evening.
Further details and registration information is available at westernrepublicans.com