Enter Congressman Duncan Hunter of California. Hunter has introduced a bill he calls the Teddy Roosevelt Bring Back Our Public Lands Act of 2007. If passed, it would prohibit a state from charging more than $200 for a permit or license to hunt big game on Federal public land within that state. The bill does not address the issue of preferential access to residents.
Is this bill going anywhere? Probably not. At this writing it does not have a single co-sponsor. Its introduction does serve as a reminder, though, that it is outrageously unfair what many western states are doing. All of us pay for the upkeep of federal lands. These lands belong to us all. And every last one of us deserves a chance to access them on a roughly equal footing. One of these days that patently obvious idea is going to mushroom into an unstoppable movement.