Member Focus - State of Mississippi
Online Member Meeting
Energy Independence & Security Act of 2022
Proposed National Monuments
Member Focus Mississippi Secretary of State
We are pleased to have Mississippi Secretary of State, Michael Watson, as our featured State member this month. Michael is a Mississippi native who attended the University of Mississippi, obtaining a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration and a law degree. He is a proud fan of Ole Miss Rebels football; his alma mater is currently ranked 16th in the nation.
Watson served three terms as a Mississippi State Senator before taking office as the Secretary in January 2020. In his role as Secretary of State, he is a supervisory Trustee overseeing the management and leasing of section 16 lands.
Along with Bill Cheney, Assistant Secretary of State, Watson is responsible for management of 640,000 acres of land that generate revenue for 101 school districts. In fiscal year 2021, 13,783 leases on the school sections produced $59.1 million that was distributed to the school districts.
Those of us attending the NASTL conference in Park City, Utah had the pleasure of meeting Secretary Watson and we look forward to networking with him again in New Mexico in 2023.
Online Member Meeting
October 19, 2022
1:00 p.m. (CT)
TOPICS TO BE ADDRESSED
USDA Forest Service Project for Defining Old-growth/Mature Forests
Senator Manchin (D-W.Va.) has proposed permitting reforms that Senator Schumer (D-N.Y.) has promised to pass this Congress. While this does not solve all of the issues facing developers, it is a step in the right direction.
It remains unclear if there are sufficient votes in the Senate or House to pass.
The language is stronger than expected but does not solve the underlying NEPA problems that require fundamental reforms pressed by Republican members.
As NASTL members understand, if developments can secure permitting on Federal lands, state trust lands often benefit.
USDA Forest Service - White River National Forest
Camp Hale National Historic Site
Given the nature of the scattered parcels of trust lands our member States manage, the creation of National Monuments can have an impact on the management of those lands.
There are currently four proposed new National Monuments sites under review: Molok Luyuk in Lake County, California; Castner Range near El Paso, Texas; Avi Kwa Ame in the East Mojave Desert in Nevada; and Camp Hale in the Continental Divide between Vail and Leadville in Colorado.
A link to an article by the Pew Charitable Trusts about these proposals can be found here.