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American Lands Council Struggles To Maintain Members

Creative Commons

A controversial group that advocates for the transfer of federal lands to the states, the American Lands Council, is losing members.

That’s according to the nonprofit Western Values Project, which says 24 of 53 counties that once belonged to the council have quit paying dues. That includes six counties in Utah, heart of the lands-transfer movement, and all three of the Colorado counties that once belonged – Mesa, Montrose, and Montezuma. The council depends on individual and governmental membership for most of its revenues. It came under fire in 2014 when a tax filing showed that more than half of its revenues of $330,000 went to its president at the time, Utah state legislator Ken Ivory, and his wife. Utah still strongly supports the lands transfer and is moving ahead with a lawsuit toward that goal. This is despite a recent report by attorneys general from 15 Western states that is skeptical of Utah’s chances of winning the suit, which is projected to cost $14 million.

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