National Park vs. National Forest, Your Public Land Explained

Republican senators and congressmen want to sell your National Forests, Wildernesses and Wildlife Refuges. But they can’t sell your National Parks, Monuments or Preserves. Here’s how all the different types of public land are different, and why you should care.

As a recap, nearly the entire GOP senate just made a symbolic vote in order to demonstrate its resolve to sell-off some lands currently owned and administered by the federal government.

With little demonstrable will among constituents in their own states, the reason for this sudden interest in States’ Rights is a bit puzzling, until you realize that concerted campaigns for privatization are underway across western States thanks to funding and support from special interest groups like ALEC and Americans For Prosperity, otherwise known as ExxonMobil and the Koch brothers.

Under federal ownership, public lands enjoy a variety of strong protections. Those same protections don’t necessarily exist if ownership is transferred to individual states, potentially paving the way for destructive exploitation by private industry or even the transfer of these lands to private ownership.

The argument for such a move is masked in small government, states’ rights and good ol’ fashioned capitalism, but rather than being a logical conclusion of conservative values, it instead clashes directly with the conservation movement that was begun by the Republican Party’s most famous leaders in order to protect our country’s natural beauty and environment for future citizens.

So, what might happen?

 

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