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Land Management

Tax-Exempt Federal Lands and Secure Rural Schools

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Western Governors' Association Policy Resolution 2017-03: The federal government must honor its historic Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILT) agreement with states and counties in the West to compensate them for tax-exempt federal lands within their borders. Predictable and adequate payments under PILT and Secure Rural Schools’ programs are vital to providing state and county public goods and services, such as roads, emergency response, and wildlife and natural resources protection. The payments should not be subject to federal sequestration.

States’ Share of Royalties and Leasing Revenues from Federal Lands and Minerals and States’ Role in Associated Federal Policy

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Western Governors' Association Policy Resolution 2017-02: The federal government has codified in law several historic agreements and programs to compensate western states for costs associated with the presence of tax exempt federal lands within their borders. The federal government must honor its statutory obligations to share royalty and lease payments with states and counties. States, as recipients of revenues from these programs and agreements, should be provided meaningful and substantial opportunities for consultation in the development of federal policy affecting those revenues.

Federal-State Land Exchanges and Purchases

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Western Governors' Association Policy Resolution 2016-04: Federal land ownership in western states is prolific and often occurs interspersed with state, county, and private land, which complicates resource management. Western Governors call on Congress to simplify and expedite the federal-state land exchange, sale and conveyance processes to resolve the checkerboard land tenure issue in the West.

National Forest and Rangeland Management

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Western Governors' Association Policy Resolution 2016-01: Western states include more than 75 percent of our national forest and grassland system, so Western states have a strong interest in management of those lands. Western Governors believe in sustainable forest management across federal and nonfederal land that creates an equitable mix of uses to meet ecological, social and economic needs. Federal agencies are encouraged to fully implement the tools provided in the 2014 Farm Bill to achieve this goal in collaboration with states.

Public Lands Grazing

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Western Governors' Association Policy Resolution 2015-03: Range livestock operations were established decades ago. These family-based operations are important contributors to the customs, cultures and rural economies of the West. Federal land management agencies’ actions in recent years have resulted in reductions or removal of domestic livestock from federal lands. Western Governors support sound, science-based management decisions for federal lands that should be based upon flexible policies that take into account local ecological conditions and state planning decisions for wildlife and other human needs.