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:

Bill Details:
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

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  • Gold Stars

    There is no reason to have so many fundamentally private law enforcement agencies! Both the Forest Service and especially the BLM have shown their interest is often outside of the public’s best interest!
    Poaching is a crime and seldom handled or even addressed by either of these agencies!
    Poaching is a state’s law enforcement issue, as it should be! Poaching has no reason to be enforced by a federal agency, period!
    You are raising one more red herring with this article, time to go back to your lib buddies and cry in your beer privately!
    Get the Feds out of our lives. Return states rights to the states!!!

    • tom

      Yeah, even though the states are stuffed with stupid and corrupt politicians who spend their lives screwing us? Who are public enemies and not public servants? Who are even worse than the feds? No thanks.

      • Ock

        As if the Feds haven’t screwed us over…… Oh no the evil state governments will run roughshod all over us, we better get the Feds to protect our rights (?)…… I’ll take local politics over Feds any day

      • Gold Stars

        The facts are this, when did the feds do anything better than the state???
        The government is too large, both on the federal and state, county and city levels. Calling for less government is always better than growing government. It is also a lot easier to deal with state and local politicians than it is with some idiot from lower sobloviate, that is part of the federal government and takes all state control away!

        If people do not understand just how little oversight there is of these largely self-serving federal agency police forces, then they just do not pay ant attention!
        If BLM makes a bad of illegal decision, who do you go to for relief??? Same with the Forest Service police force, no accountability!!!

    • elkman1131

      When relatives of mine were caught poaching, it wes by the fed.

      • Gold Stars

        Then quit hanging with poachers! Hope they were hung out to dry!!
        Still does not change the fact, we have no need of multiple government police forces!!! That is why we have State Fish and Game agencies and county sheriffs!

      • elkman1131

        Don’t hang with them. state does not patrol on parks IT is patrolled by the feds. I think you are over generalizing the situation. local LE sticks to the highways and metro areas. NEVER saw a local law enforcement officer at 9,000 ft.

  • Myself

    I am OK with this. I despise poachers, but we do have game wardens. I have yet to hear of the BLM or forest service LE stopping poaching here. The only thing I have ever seen the BLM do is point there guns at peaceful protesters on TV. I did not know they had an LE department until then so they are pretty quiet about their duties.

    We do not need all these different federal police agencies. Imagine the money we could save.

  • Steve Ridling

    Sounds to me like Chaffetz is being promised a ton of money to turn our public lands into private money makers for big business.. I pray that the people in his state remember this come his reelection bid.

    • Gold Stars

      You have no idea what you are talking about, do you!

      • elkman1131

        The whole political system in Utah is corrupt. They want to take over federal lands, but you can bet that the prime lands will be sold off to the rich,politically connected and extraction industry. This already the case in most of northern Utah. ACCESS DENIED to the average Joe.

      • Gold Stars

        Then do something about changing it! Quit whining about how we need more federal police agencies!
        If you really have corruption, then gather the evidence and hand it over to the DOJ. The Trump administration will hang them given half a chance, but you need to do your part!

      • elkman1131

        State is RED and supported by the sheeples, who vote R because the dominant religion guides their vote. against their own best interest.

      • Gold Stars

        The whining and crying I see from you supports that you are another lib progressive with absolutely no answers!!!
        Always looking for you nanny state answers!

  • California Country

    We have used the law enforcement function to report land abuse, i.e. illegal shooting range and trash left behind. We need them to help keep the jerks in check.

    • Gold Stars

      Dream on! Not going to happen except in your dreams!! These police forces are just part of the leftist agenda to lock everyone out of public places!

      • ph0b05

        Like…when the terrorists in Oregon locked employees and the citizens out of a public place with an armed insurgency?

      • Gold Stars

        Only terrorist to snowflakes like yourself! Go cry in the corner, where you belong!

  • elkman1131

    In all my years hunting the same area in Utah, I have never encountered local law enforcement on the mountain. i have met Wildlife resource,forest service and state parks personnel. Never a county sheriff. Also no cell service.
    This is a stupid meaning less move.

    • Gold Stars

      Personnel is not the same as a “police force”. Game warden have the responsibility of enforcing game laws. County sheriffs have other responsibilities and neither need to use cell phones to talk to each other, as they have expensive radios designed for that purpose!!

  • Deborah Tucker

    I believe Game Wardens and Wildlife Tech’s are needed. I don’t see the need for BLM or US Forest Service. I may be wrong about the Forest Service. After seeing the abuse from BLM and even the local law enforcement (sheriff) concerning the Bundy’s, Hammond’s and others I’m leary of anything to do with federal law enforcement.

    • ph0b05

      What abuse? Oh, you mean when they stopped the terrorists from taking over public property in an armed insurgency? Or maybe when a multi millionaire was told that he had to actually pay for his cattle to graze on public owned land instead of everyone else paying for it.

      • Deborah Tucker

        What terrorist? You mean those that follows the Law of the Land? You do know what that is don’t you? Do you mean those that were shot at and one murdered by law enforcement? Yes murdered. Actually the courts agree with that. Try doing some research before spouting off. Learn the Constitution at least know something before it taken away because of people such as yourself. Keep believing what you are told by MSM and the government. The ranchers never threatened anyone. What about the cattle that were ran to death by choppers? No one has a right to protect their livelihood? Protest is Constitutional. No riots, no burning, no shoot (by the ranchers), no blocking roads, no threatening people, no attacking. The ranchers did none of these things. Closed wildlife refuge. Everything you spouted was completely wrong showing you know absolutely nothing but what was fed to you. So, what’s happening in the court case now? Oh I know. Charges dropped in several cases. Like all of them from your insurgency. You have to be a Obama or Hillary worshiper

      • Coty

        You are absolutely and incredibly wrong. They refused to pay the grazing fees required of them for the right to use public land for their cattle. I live in Montana and know numerous ranchers who have never had a problem complying with the agreement, and guess what? They also have never initiated an armed standoff that wasted an insane amount of taxpayer money and ended up with someone dead. If you actually cared about the value of public land, maybe you would see it from a more logical angle.

      • Deborah Tucker

        These are 2 separate incidents you are talking about, one not in the state you live in. Everything I wrote is entirely true. They held no one at gunpoint there was no “standoff” there was open communication and anyone was free to come and go. Go watch the last trial taking place. Carrying a gun is covered by the Constitution and is legal. Ambushing a man and his passengers one a 17 yr old girl is illegal. It’s all on tape. Everything I have said was videoed. Try you tube I’m sure you will find what I’m talking about. It’s also not public land.

      • Gold Stars

        Sadly those whom think we need more “police” agencies are not willing to look at anything approaching reason! 🙁
        All they want to do is give up anything to do with freedom and thinking because it is less work for their feeble minds!
        Everything you have stated is true, but it does take some digging as the media has no interest in truth or freedom, just their own agenda!
        Even this article is an example. Who wrote it? They are too chicken to post their names, instead just “reporters”, just like the unelected, uncontrolled blm, forest service, etc… essentially “private” police agencies under some nameless bureaucrat’s rule!!

  • Anonymous

    I’m proud to be a Forest Service officer and love my job. Probably like other FS LEOs, I don’t care who pays my salary, just love my job and helping make National Forests a better place, plus it’s great being in the mountains. I’ve saved lives and caught bad guys. I work close with local authorities. We all respect each other out there. I’m not political so I’m not making an opinion. I’m just another hard working American law enforcement officer, oh, and a military veteran like countless other federal officers…yes, hundreds of Forest Service officers were hired through the Veterans Recruitment Appointment.

    • Robert Hartley

      The resolution eliminates your job and shifts funding to local and state enforcement. It is not who pays it as to where it is paid.

  • Average Joe

    Holly smokes a few of you are so radical you are all the way back around to liberal. Those that think giving the Federal Land to the states have way more faith than they should in the local politics that will be influenced by the rich landowners (AKA Bundies). These landowners get to graze the federal ground (everyone’s land) for next to nothing a few dollars per AUM and make large amounts of money from it. They also get to keep the leases for generations so that a few profit from the land of all. If the lessee would pay what the average guy leases private ground for he would learn how hard it is to make a living without federal land. The states would sell him the land and restrict public access in my opinion. I am not going to get into the radicals taking over public land because they are not rational but I think the public should have straitened them and their crazy ideas out. The fed LEO’s are very needed because people abuse the land and the Feds are above the local politics (usually) and are not worried about getting re-elected. Keep our Public Land in Public Hands the system we have works, it needs a few tweeks but it works.

  • LadyJ

    Hi All- I thought I would fill you all in on what exactly a BLM and Forest Service law enforcement officer does. It is NOT what a game warden does. It is also NOT than what a local sheriff or other law enforcement does. First, sheriffs and local law enforcement can still enforce laws on MOST federal public lands (check out concurrent law enforcement). BLM Rangers and FS LEOs serve to enforce CONSERVATION law (and all other federal or state laws- ref Assimilative Crimes Act). They investigate timber, forage, energy and
    minerals, recreation, wild horse and burro herds, fish and wildlife
    habitat, wilderness areas, and archaeological and paleontological site crimes. Their positions require a significantly longer training period than other law enforcement agencies because they must know federal law that covers all those areas AND have the same police officer training as sheriffs, state, and city police. Neither other types of police officers or game wardens are trained to do this work.
    Btw- if you think that a sheriff’s office would enforce ARPA or any other federal law you are WRONG. Thus, the reason that Congress authorized these positions in the first place. It was out of necessity that they started carrying weapons in the late 1900’s and it is out of necessity that they have needed to hire more. That isn’t too say that local law enforcement isn’t CRUCIAL. Everyone is clear on that. It is imperative to have cooperative work between all involved agency (90% local and 10% federal law enforcement). This saves lives and has been the plan since the beginning. My understanding is that most agencies work together well. Local law enforcement often have law enforcement agreements with the federal government to offset costs.
    What would really help is for people to stop being scumbags and pooping on arch sites (hello, Bundy’s), defacing petroglyphs, stealing dino bones, mining illegally, littering, cutting down timber without a permit, tearing up sensitive wildlife areas (hello folks, there are millions of other trails you are welcome to tear up), driving drunk on public lands, squatting, and the list could go on alllllll day.
    One more thing- if you know western politics then you know that commissioner and sheriff make the rules, but they can’t tell federal officers to look the other way. That’s pretty freakin’ scary for the “Masters of the Universe”. Also- I fully acknowledge that ALL law enforcement are human beings and there are bound to be some good and some bad. Just because someone is employed by [the agency of your choice] makes them no more or no less likely to be corrupt.