Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) told two federal land officials, “I come bearing good news. I think if your employees keep up the arrogance, keep denying access to the land then very soon we’ll be able to dramatically cut your employees back and start turning those powers over to the states.”
Gohmert’s comments came during a Joint Legislative Hearing "To protect and enhance opportunities for recreational hunting, fishing, and shooting, and for other purposes” in late May.
Deputy Director of Operations for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Steve Ellis and Deputy Chief of the U.S. Forest Service, Leslie Weldon testified at the hearing and heard complaints about denial of access onto National Forest Service and BLM land from sportsmen and law enforcement.
“Today, I wanted to take advantage of your presence here by letting you know things I’ve been hearing,” Gohmert said. “About the arrogance of people on U.S. Forest Service land and (Dept. of) Interior land – national forests - even from law enforcement, they say it’s just gotten tougher and tougher to deal with arrogant people on the national forests. Not getting access when they need it, not working with local law enforcement. And that’s been really helpful to me.”
“Some of us have been pushing for a while- let’s just dramatically cut back the U.S. Forest Service, the BLM, the Department of Interior and let each state manage the federal land within it’s boundaries.”
Gohmert later added, “I guess maybe from your standpoint it might be seen as a warning, from my standpoint it’s really good news that the arrogance of both of your employees are ultimately going to allow us to get the next president, Republican or Democrat, to end up eventually signing legislation that lets our states - they’ll do a much better job at managing your land then your departments have been doing.”