These Are the Representatives Who Want to Sell Your Public Lands

Large parts of the country, primarily in the West, have long harbored anti-federalist attitudes and called for the sale or transfer of U.S. lands to states or private hands. But the antagonism toward collective American ownership has flared dramatically in the last five years, and a new report from the Center for American Progress points to 20 members of Congress as leading the efforts to dump federal lands.

The movement is counter to public opinion. Americans overwhelmingly support federal ownership of public lands and hold the National Park Service, Forest Service, and other agencies in high esteem. For example, 83 percent of Americans support their Congressional representatives taking a strong stand to “protect and strengthen national parks.” Additionally, 77 percent say that national parks benefit Americans a “great deal/fair amount.”

Until recently, public lands had bipartisan support, even under Republican administrations, but that, says CAP, is a “distant memory. Since 2010, Congress has been incapable of passing individual parks and wilderness bills, legislators are pressing to sell off tens of millions of acres of publicly owned lands, and laws which help protect at-risk public lands—including the Antiquities Act and the Land and Water Conservation Fund—are under relentless attack.”

The center studied Congress and found that the 20 anti-public lands leaders share three main features. They are strongly affiliated with the Tea Party movement, they represent a district that is strongly partisan, and they have faced strong challenge within their party from the right.

See who they are…


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