They say you can trust them. They say it will fix everything — if we just hand them over our public lands.

In the words of our grandmothers and grandfathers: it’s a bunch of horse pucky.

Speaking of horse pucky, here are the myths land grabbers use to sleaze us out of the land that defines us as Westerners.

MYTH: Wildfires “destroy” the West

Comparison-of-Tepee-Springs-Fire
Photo used by permission of Jackson Frishman.

Idaho Rep. Judy Boyle sympathized with Ammon Bundy and his band of armed criminals. She traveled to Malheur National Wildlife Refugee not once, but twice to show her support. She also — with a straight face — claims fires are “destroying” the West.

She’s wrong. While some fires crown and char entire stands of trees, most burn in a natural fire mosaic. In other words, some trees are killed, some are made more fire resistant and others are left alone.

What’s more, the landscape recovers rapidly. It should. Idaho’s forests have evolved with fire. In fact, some plants, shrubs, trees, birds and mammals depend on fire to survive.

MYTH: If Idaho got the land, it wouldn’t be sold

Hiker-in-Idaho-41-percent-soldOf the 4.2 million acres the state was granted by the United States, it’s already sold off 1.7 million acres. That’s 41 percent. Just since 2000, Idaho has sold off 100,434 acres.

Since statehood, Idaho has sold an average of 13,974 acres per year.

If state politicians got their hands on our public lands, imagine how much would be auctioned off to wealthy CEOs and multi-national corporations.

MYTH: Land grabbers don’t want to privatize the land

Lummis-private-lands-MEMEThe push to take our public lands started with local politicians who were angry that those lands don’t provide their counties with property taxes.

But if the land went to the state, those lands wouldn’t be taxed either. The only way they’re getting property taxes out of our land is by privatizing them.

MYTH: State and private lands are fire resistant

Copy of Clearwater-complex-fire-meme2As we all learned last summer, fire doesn’t care who owns the land. If it’s hot, dry and windy, fire is going to burn.

The cataclysmic fires in Canada this week that have forced the evacuation of an entire town are burning on private and “provincial” land, which is the Canadian equivalent of state land.

As summer approaches and the politicians ramp up the false rhetoric, saying wildfires prove a need to privatize our public lands, remember who they work for.

It isn’t you.