Club 20 forum to explore public land transfers

An upcoming forum will examine the issues involved in the transfer of federal lands to states.

Club 20 — a Grand Junction-based coalition of businesses, governments and individuals in the region — will host the forum.

The event is set for 4 to 6 p.m. Dec. 11  at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel, 743 Horizon Drive, and feature nationally recognized speakers on both sides of the issue.

The forum is open to the public and admission is free, though participants are encouraged to register at www.Club20.org.

University of Colorado law professor Charles Wilkinson and Ken Ivory — a Utah legislator and president of the American Lands Council, an organization advocating for the transfer of public lands to states — will discuss various issues involved in land transfers.

Among the topics to be discussed include whether or not states can effectively manage these lands, the potential of public lands as a source of funding for education and other state programs and what state management of these lands might look like.

Public lands have taken an increasingly prominent position in the public policy area. In the West, federally managed lands comprise large proportions of the areas of many states. More than 70 percent of the land in Mesa County is managed by the federal government.