Communities all over the country feel that their hands are tied with one-size-fits-all DC Brand Red Tape. The rules and regulations prevent them from doing what is best for their specific circumstances. The situation has escalated to the point where elected officials are now taking charge to do what is local and logical.
What took place this weekend in the rural New Mexico town of Cloudcroft could become the model for all who want to cut the red tape. Hundreds of people were at what is being called the “Otero County Tree Party” in support of realigning the federal government and putting them back where they belong.
Ten years ago, the New Mexico State Legislature passed SB1, which was signed into law by then-governor Gary Johnson. The legislature overwhelmingly voted for it, believing that it was a necessity borne out of “Uncontrollable, but preventable wildfires, and unresponsive federal agencies.” The Forest Service’s (USFS) inaction to reduce or remove the fuel buildup put “the lives and property of the citizens of New Mexico” at risk.
SB1 exerted local sovereignty over public lands. But it had never been tested.