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David Sparks Ph.d Public Lands
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Sportsman's Spotlight
Date: September 13, 2018

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There is a growing public debate about who manages our public lands… Is it the feds or is it the individual states. Along with that debate is a growing movement that attempts to insure public lands be accessible to the public, and more specifically in our case here at Sportsman’s Spotlight, to those interested in hiking, camping, fishing and hunting. At least 60 percent of the land in Idaho is run by the federal government, including the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service and National Park Service.

It's skiing, biking, it's hiking, its fishing, it’s hunting but it is anything you can do on any day of the calendar year and it is so accessible. That's what I'm here fighting for. Those words come from outdoor enthusiast Ryan Callahan moved to Idaho for work but stayed because of easy access to public lands.

In a growing national trend, several weeks ago there was a weekend rally in Boise in support of keeping Idaho’s public lands under federal management. It drew an estimated 3,000 people at the Idaho Statehouse rotunda and the Statehouse steps. Jeff Ruprecht of Twin Falls attended and his passion to preserve the public lands was representative of the huge crowd. "I love my public lands and I use them a lot.

“We think that the state can do a much better job. We want to caution that we’re not in favor of privatizing the land. No one on our side is saying take access away. We’re all from Idaho,” said John Thompson, director of public relations for the Idaho Farm Bureau. “We support the right to hunt and fish and do all those things people love to do. We don’t want to limit that. We think that these environmental groups that have stirred this up are supporting that position; we think that’s wrong.”

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