My major concerns have to do with the Republican Platform for the next administration. I am very concerned with the proposal to transfer the administration and financial responsibility for many federal programs to the States, to reduce federal spending. This requires careful analysis of the magnitude and cost of the program being transferred prior to determining at what level do we have the resources to administer the selected program. The last time we tried this transfer process, the federal government cut taxes and thereby, had to cut spending. Reduced spending was accomplished by eliminating federal grant monies to the States, leaving them in an untenable position. Many States are now having to reduce services or raise taxes, and some are near bankruptcy.
The other item within the Platform which scares me is the support for the transfer of federally administrated public lands to the States. In my estimation, this would be a devastating mistake for humanity. It will require significant investments in proper management to maintain the human contribution these valuable lands provide to our natural world we depend upon for life. Our States simply can not and will not, be capable of financing the cost of this responsibility. The most likely scenario will be for the States to sell off these lands to private companies and individuals to help balance the State budgets. The last time States sold off infrastructure, some elements were even sold to foreign counties. I truly believe, following this coarse of action will result in one of the most devastating adverse impacts on the human environment that could possibly occur. Natural resource managers and scientists need to take a strong stance against this proposal before it is to late!!!!