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401 Meeker St Delta CO 81416 970.874.4421

Selling public lands is a terrible idea

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Dear Editor:

With a 9x9, palmated, the elk staring down my grandfather when he was 15 turned into legend. Grandpa was with his father, hunting on our public lands, when they met our family's monarch. Grandpa's father gave him the decision to shoot or not. My grandpa chose to NOT shoot, believing that monarchs like this silverbacked elk were meant to continue their line.

This story has remained part of who we are as a family -- responsible hunters, sportsmen who love the public lands that belong to all of us. Without public lands, no monarchs will exist.

When I read that the new Congress just passed new rules devaluing our public lands in order to make it easter to sell them off, I heard from the ghost of my grandpa. He came like a wild thing in my dreams, antlers on his head, his face screaming, "Don't let them do it."

National forests and BLM public lands belong to ALL of us and polls consistently show that the vast majority of us do not want Congress to sell off or transfer our public lands. My family has been Republican since Teddy Roosevelt gave us these lands. Transferring them to the states has been shown to be unconstitutional, uneconomic, unfeasible, yet this idea is being shoved down our throats once again.

Colorado alone makes over $35 billion annually off of hunting, fishing, outdoor recreation, ATV use, camping, etc. Many of our towns rely on the income outdoor recreation brings from these lands. We also need the critical habitat the lands provide for wildlife. These lands belong to all of us, not just to those who would profit off gas, oil, or timber uses. That has its place. So does our monarch.

All of us need to shout to Congress, "These are OUR lands, keep your hands off!"

Ken Walker

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