GOP Pushes Bill To Sell Off ‘Excess’ Federal Lands

Tuesday, January 31, 2017
By Paul Martin


A top Republican lawmaker introduced legislation ordering the secretary of the interior to sell off 3.3 million acres of “excess” federal lands in western states.

Utah Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s bill, if passed, would allow the Trump administration to sell parcels of federal lands to private parties and states. The land being put up for sale was identified by the Clinton administration as “suitable for sale” in the late 1990s, and makes up less than half a percent of all federal lands.

Republican lawmakers have long been critical of federal control of nearly half the land in 11 western states. GOP lawmakers argue federal agencies strangle rural economies with restrictive policies, particularly in regards to logging and ranching.

“The long overdue disposal of excess federal lands will free up resources for the federal government while providing much-needed opportunities for economic development in struggling rural communities,” Chaffetz said in a statement.

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