Enemies of Public Lands

For over a century, attacks on public lands are phenomena. The public lands system, since its inception, has been under attack from people who see the system as a threat to their ability to profit off these public lands. President Williams Taft in 1921, influenced by wood loggers, miners, and railroad companies, attempted to dismantle the then newly formed forest reserves.

Taft’s attempt was resisted. Since then, several attempts have been made to dismantle the “Forest Reserve Act”. In the last few years, new attacks have arisen to cunningly seize and privatize public lands.

More so, in recent times, members of Congress have filed so many bills or amendments in attempts to remove or undercut protections for public lands. Those in support of land seizure argue that public lands would be better managed under state or private parties.

Over the past few decades, budgets for managing federal lands have drastically decreased. There is a lack of resources to manage precious public lands and putting them in the hands of private ownership would only worsen the situation.

After many years of failure to introduce bills to seize public lands across US state legislatures, enemies of public lands have changed strategy and are now promoting bills that undermine federal authority to manage public lands.

There are organizations dedicated to keeping public lands in public hands. They fight against the privatization of federal lands or transfer their ownership or management to the states. More can be done by contacting current Members of Congress to oppose any bill that threatens public lands.

Contact us to learn about these organizations.