More than 1,000 outdoor business owners, sportsmen and public lands supporters joined Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D-MT) in Helena over the weekend, while hundreds rallied in New Mexico on Wednesday, all protesting GOP attempts in Congress to sell off or privatize public lands, reports Nicole Gentile.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) introduced the bill to sell off 3.3 million acres of public lands—equivalent to the size of Connecticut—but withdrew it on Wednesday after public outcry. Chaffetz, however, has introduced another bill that would eliminate federal law enforcement on public lands.
“Every one of us owns these public lands,” Bullock told those gathered. “And the beauty is, we don’t need permission to go on them, do we? These lands are our heritage. These lands are our birthright.”
The GOP-controlled House of Representatives has already changed House rules, which will allow the House to effectively value all national parks, national forests, and other public lands at zero—a move, explains Gentile, that “will make it easier to dispose of public land, since transactions will no longer have to go through the Congressional Budget Office.”