Trust For Public Land statement on House provision on public lands transfers

January 3, 2017
Washington, D.C.

"Today, as part of a broader rules package, the House approved a new process for public lands transfers that purposely ignores the cost to the American people of giving away these special places. This vote by the House of Representatives is not only fiscally irresponsible but is an affront to the American public,” said Will Rogers, President of The Trust for Public Land. "By pretending there is no cost to the loss of America’s public lands, the House proposal opens the door to a potential fire sale of the unique and wonderful public lands we all own together. All Americans are the ‘public’ in public lands. Our shared outdoor heritage should be protected for future generations, not exploited for short term gain."

"In addition, the provision goes against the will of the American people, who want more land protected, not less,” said Rogers. "We saw that most recently last November in communities across the nation, when voters  in red and blue states alike approved a variety of tax increases and local bonds for land conservation and parks. The numbers were clear and impressive. There were 87 measures on the Nov. 8 local ballots, and 70 passed, creating $6.3 billion in new money for parks. Earlier in 2016, voters approved another 14 local measures, for $3.3 billion. That’s almost $10 billion local communities voted to spend on conservation. Rather than proposing to give away land, the House ought to look at what American voters choose when given the chance.”