The Trump Presidency Is the Worst Ever for Public Lands

Six hundred and forty million acres of land in the United States—about 28 percent of our nation’s total land area—are owned by the American people and managed on our behalf by the federal government.

The foundational principle of that management is called multiple use. Public lands are used for resource extraction, but that extraction must be balanced with ecosystem conservation, recreation, and the need to maintain these lands so that future generations of Americans can continue to make the most of them.

Public lands contribute to the federal government’s bottom line, reducing the amount of taxes all of us must pay to fund our government’s operation. They support industries like oil, gas, and outdoor recreation, and provide plant and animal biodiversity, helping to protect the environment we live in. In short, these wild places, where we camp, run, hunt, climb, and ride, contribute to our quality of life.

But… an analysis conducted by the Center for American Progress (CAP) calculates that the total area of public lands that have already lost protections during Donald Trump’s presidency, or which his administration is working to reduce protections for, amounts to almost 35 million acres. That’s nearly the size of the entire state of Florida.

“President Trump is the only president in U.S. history to have removed more public lands than he protected,” reads the analysis.

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