Chaffetz pushes bill to sell ‘excess’ federal lands


While other members of Congress will be pressing Tuesday to set aside some federal lands as wilderness, Rep. Jason Chaffetz will push legislation to dispose of “excess” swaths of the West to help pay down the federal debt.

Chaffetz’s bill would order the Interior Department to sell 3.3 million acres in the West, including 132,931 in Utah.

… In addition to Utah, the bill would affect public lands in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington.

“Selling off our public lands to reduce the deficit would be like selling the house to pay the light bill,” said Philip Carlson, Utah coordinator for the group Republicans for Environmental Protection

… First-term Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, has introduced in the Senate a companion bill to Chaffetz’s measure.