Yesterday, in a series of tweets (where all quality legislation gets its start), Senator Mike Lee of Utah laid out a plan for bills to sell off America’s public land.
His three planned bills include:
1. Virtually eliminating public lands altogether by transferring them to individual states, in the hopes that western states would look more like “Missouri or Illinois”.
2. Allowing individuals, companies, or local officials to “petition” to “use” public land for virtually any reason, from building housing to “research” (on what, he is unclear).
3. Abolishing the Antiquities Act, the legislation that has protected national lands, many of which have become National Parks, in the state of Utah by requiring immense red tape for new protections of existing public lands.
These kind of threats are not idle. Utah has made inroads in rolling back protections of public lands, and with the current political climate, people who love the outdoors can’t let these ideas gain any traction.
When Rep. Chaffetz introduced a bill last year to sell off 3.3 million acres of public lands in the west, the public responded with a fury, and within a week, he’d made a stunning 180. It is equally, if not more important, to speak out now against these proposals. Let Senator Mike Lee hear it – loudly and clearly. Sign the petition right now. We’re aiming to get 25,000 signatures we can take to Senator Lee and other key lawmakers.