I googled the term public lands under attack and found your posting on this site. I'm not a duck hunter however I'm concerned as you are about the problem affecting nearly every state in the country (except for about 6) that are financially insolvent and looking for ways to solve the mounting debt problems. And basically public lands are being eyeballed to be sold off to private interests to help pay down the debts. It's a short term fix and of course not really a fix at all.
I'm a California resident with ties to Hawaii and in that state they are dealing with legislators to abolish a legislatively crated entity called the Public Land Development Corporation (PLDC). Creation of PLDC was an outcome of a bill passed in Hawaii last year. This group has created for itself powers to bypass laws on the books having to do with zoning, environmental regulations and transparency to the public. The Act 55 was created under the auspices of helping to maintain public lands by partnering with private interests but bottom line is that the public there is in an uproar of some of the initial abuses of power by the PLDC which has only been in operation for less than a year.
The good news is that the legislators actually seemed to have listened, or shall I say they feared that they had no choice due to the strong movement by a number of grassroots organizations opposing Act 55, and in this upcoming legislative period, with the deadline for bills having closed yesterday, there were approximately 24 new bills introduced by their House and their Senate for the purpose of repealing all or parts of Act 55 which will now travel through the system. It is impossible to know the sincerity of the legislators to actually pass these bills, it may be just a way to appease the citizens and appear to be doing something. But any support and collaboration we can provide will help all of the states. If citizens and legislators of one state achieve a victory in pushing back on the conversion of public lands to pay debts, then others will take notice.
So, I would ask you and others who share your deep concern a favor which is to log onto the online investigative journalism newspaper cite called CivilBeat in Honolulu on Monday Jan. 28, 2013 and look for an article in the "Community Voices" authored by a man named Simon Russell.
The website is http://www.civilbeat.com/
(and I authored an article there last year when a large group of people including myself were under attack by the Hawaii legislators looking to support special interest groups that are their backers - Hotels and Real Estate Property Managers).
The article by Simon which will run on Monday is written to raise awareness and request citizen participation to ensure that Hawaii passes a bill this year to eliminate the PLDC and protect its public lands from abusive financial gain by private interests or an easy way for the current government to pay down debt. Please post a comment of support and/or of background on what is happening in your state. I believe you need a facebook account to do so but I don't recall for certain. In any event, Simon belongs to a facebook site in Hawaii consisting of over 1500 members all devoted to the cause of Repealing Act 55 in Hawaii. So all of those voices may also be called upon back to your efforts in your state to protect your public lands. I am supporting Simon and their efforts and hope they in turn will help Californians protect our public lands with legislative activities that either threaten or support our public lands. It is clear to me that desperate financial times often result in bad decisions for the long term welfare of the citizens.
Please consider my request above and also let me know more about the situation in your state and efforts to restrict the conversion of public lands to pay down your state's debt. I appreciate what you are doing and support you in your efforts .