Stop Using Taxpayer Money to Give Away Public Lands

Our magnificent, irreplaceable national forest.

Target: Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell

Goal: Stop Congress from using taxpayer funds to sell public lands to opportunistic exploitation.

If you’re a lover of America’s public lands and consider them a precious irreplaceable legacy, it  might surprise you to learn about an organized group in Congress opposed to the federal government owning land. The Federal Land Action Group sponsored a 2016 U.S. House Budget Resolution that proposes “reducing the Federal estate” by turning over public lands to state and local governments so they can “take advantage of increased economic activity.” In other words, they want to open the flood gates to exploiting and profiting off public lands and they propose spending $50 million in taxpayer money to speed the transfer of land.

Anti-conservation forces in Congress created the Federal Land Action Group with the goal of giving away federal lands to local development using the excuse that there’s too much land for the government to manage. This is a completely manufactured crisis designed to cover up a land grab and once these flood gates are opened, it could be impossible to close them. There’s no precedent for this and no authority either. It could eventually be judged illegal, but by then the damage would be done. This illustrates how easy it would be to squander our great legacy. We must fight any attempt to sell off federal lands to the states as an illegal land grab.

Despite the fact that our public lands are extensively logged, mined and polluted to stressful levels already, profit-making interests regard current controls as “keeping federal lands under lock and key.” Far from being dusty museums, keeping our trees standing up is our own best hope of combating climate change. Forests are the lungs of the Earth. We owe it to the world to try and preserve as much land as possible, especially if we intend to display global leadership in the fight against climate change.


Dear Secretary Jewell,

A 2016 U.S. House Budget Resolution proposes “reducing the Federal estate” by turning over public lands to state and local governments so they can “take advantage of increased economic activity”. This is completely unacceptable. Our public legacy is not something to be bartered away to opportunistic interests.

Forests are the lungs of the earth. They provide the oxygen we breathe. As the threat of climate change grows, our forests are also more and more important to us, uncut. Forests have an important role to play as carbon sinks. We need our trees standing up and taking in carbon from the air. In the face of climate change, the worst thing we could do is throw open our woods to local development.

We oppose any sell off of our public lands. These lands are our birthright as Americans and we treasure them. We should be trying to preserve more land not throwing it away. The Federal Land Action Group should be condemned as engaged in an illegal land grab.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Bruce Tremper

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