Clucking over chicken illustrates Eastern ignorance of land policy

The Albuquerque Journal’s Washington columnist, Michael Coleman, recently wrote a story quoting some Eastern publications (The Washington Post and a legislation tracking site called Legistorm) are the two mentioned) as they made snide/silly remarks about New Mexico Rep. Steve Pearce’s decision to hold three town halls regarding the lesser prairie chicken’s listing as “threatened.”

All of this seemingly humorous “clucking” about what is a very serious economic issue in Southern New Mexico (and due to it’s potential impact on oil and gas all of New Mexico) illustrates a very important point: when it comes to federal lands and federal land regulations, Easterners — especially in the media and government — just don’t get it. Unfortunately, reform of the Endangered Species Act is seemingly not on the radar screen right now, but federal land reforms are very much a point of discussion these days.

The standoff over Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s ranch was just the latest example, but Utah has already shown the way for Western states (like New Mexico) and supporters of federalism to combat the ignorance of those who have little knowledge of the extreme importance of land ownership and regulations to those in the West.