Bill H.R. 622: Poacher’s Dream, Sportsman’s Nightmare?
OutdoorHub Reporters 02.07.17
We told you that America’s public lands were under attack when Rep. Jason Chaffetz introduced bill H.R. 621. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the end of the attacks on our public lands, as Chaffetz now shifts his focus to another bill that will surely cause more backlash from outdoorsmen across the country.
Bill H.R. 622, which was first introduced last year, calls for removing law enforcement officers on National Forests and Bureau of Land Management properties, millions of acres where Americans hunt and fish.
“It’s time to get rid of the BLM and US Forest Service police. If there is a problem, your local sheriff is the first and best line of defense,” Chaffetz said in a press release. “By restoring local control in law enforcement, we enable federal agencies and county sheriffs to each focus on their respective core missions.”
Here is the description of H.R. 622 as stated on Chaffetz’s website:
H.R. 622, Local Enforcement for Local Lands Act, first introduced last year, removes the law enforcement function from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Forest Service. Instead, the bill calls for deputizing local law enforcement, combined with block grant funding, to empower existing duly elected law enforcement offices to carry out these responsibilities. The bill, jointly sponsored by Utah’s Rep. Mia Love and Rep. Chris Stewart, also establishes a formula to reimburse local law enforcement based on the percentage of public land in each state.
Bill H.R. 622 could leave our National Forests and public hunting/fishing lands vulnerable, neglected and generally up for grabs by the lawless. It seems Chaffetz doesn’t ignore public outcry, as he was the one who put the kibosh on the last bill that threatened our land, a bill he introduced himself. Maybe we can get him to change his tune again?
Image courtesy Flickr