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GOP VP Nominee Vance calls Republicans champions of the middle class; President Biden is isolating with Covid while sources say Schumer privately urged Biden to step aside in the 2024 election: NY bill addresses monopolies, anti-trust loopholes; ACLU of Alabama launches Project MOVE to boost voter turnout.

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Ohio Sen. JD Vance makes an 'America First' VP nomination acceptance speech. Tough national security talk papers over GOP complexities on foreign policy. Sen. Bob Menendez resigns and President Biden catches COVID.

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It's grass-cutting season and with it, rural lawn mower races, Montana's drive-thru blood project is easing shortages, rural Americans spend more on food when transportation costs are tallied, and a lack of good childcare is thwarting rural business owners.

Study: Managing Federal Lands Would be Costly for Wyoming

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Monday, October 24, 2016   

CHEYENNE, Wyo. -- A new report on the feasibility of transferring the management of some 25 million acres of federal lands to the state of Wyoming said the process would present major financial, administrative and legislative challenges.

Cheyenne sportsman Earl DeGroot said the state's hunters and anglers depend on access to public lands, and he hopes the Legislature will seriously consider the report's findings.

"Not only sportsmen but other outdoor recreationists across the state are against federal land transfer,” DeGroot said, "because they're concerned the state would manage the land for profit which would mean a lot more development than we have right now."

The 345-page study found that the state would inherit costly wildfire and litigation issues if it were to take over management. The report also noted that if ownership of public lands was transferred to states, local governments could lose significant federal funding.

In 2015, the Wyoming Legislature passed a bill mandating the study, which was completed by Y-2 Consultants.

Aaron Kindle, Western sportsmen manager with the National Wildlife Federation's Rocky Mountain office, said his biggest fear is that if states take over management of the lands and realize the costs of management are too much to bear, parcels of land currently open to everyone could be sold off to the highest bidder. He said while the study could be a speed bump in efforts to turn lands over to states, he doesn't think the issue has been put to rest.

"It's kind of a thinly veiled attempt to get access to minerals and timber and oil and gas,” Kindle said. "So long as those minerals and timber and other things like that are on the landscape, I think we'll see a push to try and get easier access to them."

A rally in support of publicly owned lands, organized by hunting, fishing and outdoor organizations, is scheduled to take place in Casper on November 5.





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