Stop Using Taxpayer Money to Allow Seizure of Public Land


Target: American Lands Council President Ken Ivory

Goal: End use of taxpayer money to advocate for state control of public land

Western lawmakers eager to seize control of public land have gained a new resource to fuel their efforts; taxpayer dollars. The American Lands Council (ALC), an organization which advocates for state control and exploitation of federally-owned land, has received tens of thousands of dollars in taxpayer money from government officials across the Western United States. ALC uses these donations to work towards a future in which public land is given over to state control and opened up to mining, drilling and logging. In this future, land intended for use by all citizens of the United States would instead only benefit a few destructive enterprises.

The effort to claim federal lands for the states, sometimes called the “Sagebrush Rebellion”, has gone on for decades. Proponents of the idea speak of the great wealth locked away in public land, of oil, natural gas, timber and minerals. However, they do not seem to consider the other forms of wealth inherent to the land. Public land can have great environmental value. Public land can possess great beauty. And public land is meant for all people to use and enjoy. How ironic, then, that taxpayers are footing the bill for ALC’s efforts to take that land away. The ultimate irony, however, is that these efforts are almost certainly in vain.

State seizure of public land is in violation of the U.S. Constitution.  Congress, not the states, has control over federal property, and the Supreme Court has ruled that that control is “without limitation.” Taxpayers are therefore involuntarily contributing money to a campaign that has virtually no chance of succeeding. By signing this petition, you will call upon ALC President Ken Ivory to stop accepting donations of taxpayer dollars.


Dear Ken Ivory,

Your organization, the American Lands Council, is currently receiving taxpayer money to help pay for its efforts to turn ownership of public land over to Western states. While you have the right to receive donations from anyone who wishes to support your cause, this money is being given by state officials, not by the taxpayers themselves. These people have no choice whether to support ALC or not.

State control of public lands could have negative effects on the environment, as they are opened up to mining, drilling and logging. Such control is also in violation of the U.S. Constitution. By accepting taxpayer money, ALC is forcing those who disagree with its goals to support it anyway. I urge you to stop accepting taxpayer dollars from government officials.


[Your name here]

Photo credit: Katie Chrutchley via Wikimedia Commons

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132 Signatures

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