February 3, 2017

Facing backlash, Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz withdraws bill to transfer federal land to the states -- Washington Post

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) withdrew legislation Thursday that would have transferred 3 million acres of land from federal to state ownership, citing objections from constituents who complained that the move would limit access to public hunting and fishing grounds.

The Disposal of Excess Federal Lands Act, which would have shifted federal holdings to state governments in Utah, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon and Wyoming, prompted an outcry among hunters and anglers’ groups. Introduced three weeks after House Republicans enacted a rule change to make it easier to sell off federal land, the measure prompted two separate rallies in Santa Fe, N.M., and Helena, Mont., this week that drew hundreds of people opposed to the measure. -- 2/2/2017

 

Navajo Nation Seeks Special Recognition Status From UN -- KUNM/Associated Press

The Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission and a tribal delegate are advocating for the Navajo Nation to become an official member of the United Nations.

Navajo Council Delegate Nathaniel Brown said non-governmental organizations and civil societies enjoy the privilege of participating in the United Nations but indigenous nations are limited with regards to their participation. -- 2/3/2017

 

Rail Runner looks to add more weekend riders with expansion -- KOB/Associated Press

The New Mexico Rail Runner Express is considering changing its schedule in an effort to expand weekend ridership.

Key changes would include having both weekend days offer a mid-morning train from Albuquerque to Santa Fe and be on the same schedule. The last departing train from Santa Fe on the weekend would leave an hour earlier under the proposal, for which the Rail Runner is seeking public comment. -- 2/3/2017