To prove a point, a conservation group held a mock auction for ownership of the Grand Canyon back in February. At the time, they were trying to provide an example of what would happen to public land if Congress stripped the president’s authority to identify and protect national monuments. While this scenario may seem a bit extreme at the outset, it could actually happen soon with public land – including national forests like Yellowstone, along with many others.
Several parties have drawn up a proposal for the House GOP budget resolution that calls for the seizure and sale of US national forests and public land. Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah), chair of the House Natural Resources Committee, believes that control over US public lands should be transferred to the state level. The real kicker is that he demands $50 million in taxpayer funds – yes, you’ll be the one paying for it – to jumpstart these property transfers. This way, they can be done “immediately.” All of this was proposed in a recent memo addressed to the House Budget Committee, explained by none other than Senator Bishop.
The memo claims that public lands “create a burden for the surrounding states and communities,” and his “solution is to convey land without strings to state, local and tribal governments.”