Sell all this useless federal land

Another sub-radar item – Republicans moving to sell of public lands.

House bill H.R. 621, introduced last week by Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), would direct the Secretary of the Interior to sell off 3.3 million acres of federal land.

“The long overdue disposal of excess federal lands will free up resources for the federal government while providing much-needed opportunities for economic development in struggling rural communities,” Chaffetz said in a press release Tuesday.

The federal lands that would be sold encompass less than .5% of all federal lands, according to Chaffetz. However, 3.3 million acres is roughly the same size as the state of Connecticut (3.5 million acres). The lands have not been identified yet and the formal text for the bill has not yet been submitted to the site.

The bill calls for: “responsible disposal of 3.3 million acres of land identified by the Clinton Administration as being suitable for sale to non-federal entities … these lands have been deemed to serve no purpose for taxpayers.”

Well “purpose” tends to have a different meaning for Republicans from the one it has for the rest of us. We tend to think of purpose as being broader than monetary profit.

Chaffetz introduced the federal lands disposal bill along with bill H.R. 622 which would eliminate the law enforcement duties of the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service. The responsibility of enforcement on Forest Service and BLM land would then fall on local law enforcement.

And the Bundy gang would throw a huge party.

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