Keep lands ‘open’ to all
‘We can multi-purpose these lands,’ Trump Jr. tells crowd of 300
Donald J. Trump Jr., the son of the Republican Party’s nominee for president, got a warm reception from Grand Junction residents on Thursday, but he didn’t draw as many people as organizers expected, and didn’t talk for very long.
The younger Trump’s event at the Mesa County Fairgrounds was billed as “a campfire with Donald Trump Jr.,” with him talking about specific issues facing the use of public lands in the West.
Well, there was no campfire, and all the younger Trump said about public lands was that they should remain open and accessible to all.
And instead of the 4,000 people organizers had expected to draw, there were only about 300.
“We can have the best of all worlds,” he said. “We can have grazing, we can have fishing, we can have hunting on the same lands. We can multi-purpose these lands, and we can do it in a way that’s smart and preserves them, and everybody wins.”
The rest of the event was more like a mini Trump rally, with talk of making America great again, creating jobs and not letting Hillary Clinton take over the White House.
The event was hosted in part by a group called Sportsmen for Trump, which describes itself as a group that supports hunting, fishing and gun ownership.
Even though a major conservative tenet in recent years has been over the issue of turning control of federal lands over to states and into private hands, that issue was not addressed directly by Trump or any other speaker at the event, which included state Sen. Ray Scott, R-Grand Junction.
Instead, Trump Jr. said if the lands were “kept open” it would address those concerns.
“When we do that, we can eliminate so many of these issues that we’ve all faced, so many issues that you are all so frustrated with,” Trump said.
A group of 42 different national outdoors groups sent a letter to Trump earlier this month asking him to clarify his position on turning federal lands over to either state or private control, but have not yet received an answer.
Though the elder Trump’s website has no official position on turning over some public lands to state or private owners as the party’s platform calls for, he does attack President Barack Obama’s moves to block oil and gas development on some federal land, saying that’s a policy that Clinton is likely to continue.
Still, the site is vague about whether Trump would open up more federal lands for energy development.
Some of his advisers, however, have gone on record over the summer saying Trump doesn’t support the idea of privatizing federal lands.
“I want to keep the lands great, and you don’t know what the state is going to do,” Trump said in a January interview with Field & Stream magazine.
“We’re not looking to sell off land,” he told the magazine in the interview.