Rep. Labrador’s bill would cede public lands to extractive industries

Feb 26, 2016

Salmon-Challis National Forest, Idaho

Mason Cummings
The House Subcommittee on Federal Lands held a hearing on Thursday about an array of bills that are designed to turn over America’s shared public lands to state or local control.

One bill (H.R. 2316), sponsored by Idaho’s Rep. Raul Labrador, would allow a governor of any state to appoint an “Advisory Committee,” comprised of extractive industries and county officials, to manage anywhere from 200,000 to four million acres of National Forest System lands in any way the advisory committee chooses. The Wilderness Society’s Idaho office issued the following statement:

“Public lands in Idaho provide access for hiking, fishing, hunting, biking, motorized recreation and everything else Idahoans enjoy in the outdoors with their families,” said Brad Brooks, deputy director of The Wilderness Society’s Idaho office in Boise. “Every single Idahoan and American owns these lands. This bill would take a massive amount of shared public land that currently belong to all of us and give it to special interests so it can be privatized and developed. We need leaders who are willing to roll up their sleeves, work together and solve problems, not introduce bills intended to fan ideological flames.”

In a letter sent up to the Subcommittee in advance of today’s hearing, The Wilderness Society stated:

“This is an unprecedented approach to privatizing public lands that will lead to destruction of public access, wildlife habitat and recreational use of public lands that are owned by all Americans.”

Read more about the effort underway to seize America’s shared public lands here

Full text of The Wilderness Society’s letter to the Subcommittee

Full text of Rep. Labrador’s bill

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The Wilderness Society is the leading conservation organization working to protect wilderness and inspire Americans to care for our wild places. Founded in 1935, and now with more than 700,000 members and supporters, TWS has led the effort to permanently protect 110 million acres of wilderness and to ensure sound management of our shared national lands. www.wilderness.org.

Contacts:

Brad Brooks, Deputy Director – Idaho Office, (208) 870-9043, brad_brooks@tws.org

Kate Mackay, Communications Director – Wildlands, (602) 571-2603, kate_mackay@tws.org