The Center for Western Priorities released a website yesterday to serve as a source of accurate and up-to-date information on efforts by special interest groups and right-wing legislators across nine Western states to “transfer,” seize, or auction off America’s public lands.
The website offers a variety of information on the issue, including:
- A summary of efforts by state politicians and legislatures to turn national public lands over the states.
- Public opinion research showing how Westerners perceive efforts by states to take over national public lands.
- Economic research on the costs of land transfers for Western taxpayers.
- The lack of legal merits of “transferring” national public lands to the states.
“This website provides journalists, policymakers, and Westerners the tools they need to fight back against out-of-touch politicians working to give away our American public lands,” said Jessica Goad, Advocacy Director at the Center. “We chose the URL ‘AmericanPublicLands.com’ to emphasize what Westerners already know -- that our incredible system of national parks, national monuments, national forests, and national wildlife refuges belong to all Americans, not just citizens of a particular state, nor a few companies or wealthy individuals.
"This is a fundamental American ideal, and it should stay that way.”
Efforts by a growing fringe of state lawmakers to take over national public lands have surfaced in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming. And, the issue continues to play a role in elections across the American West.
Notably, 72 percent of Western voters say they are less likely to vote for a candidate who supports selling off public lands to reduce the deficit.
The Center for Western Priorities is a nonpartisan engagement center that serves as a source of accurate information, promotes responsible policies and practices, and ensures accountability at all levels to protect land, water, and communities in the American West.