U.S. News


Congress Now Wants To Keep The 3.3M Acres It Planned To Sell

Rep. Jason Chaffetz introduced the bill in late January and then faced a wave of backlash.
Posted at 11:26 AM, Feb 04, 2017

Congress has backed off a bill that could have sold off more than 3 million acres of public land.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz introduced a measure in late January aiming to sell 3.3 million acres of federal land that spans 10 states. Then, he withdrew it.

The land is currently used for oil, timber and recreation and brings in millions of dollars in economic activity. Chaffetz and those behind the bill got a wave of backlash from conservationists, hunters, fishers and others who use it.

The Utah representative said on Instagram, "Groups I support and care about fear it sends the wrong message."

What he didn't address in his statement is what else came with the bill. Chaffetz wants to take authority away from the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service police and instead give that power to a local authority, like a sheriff.

Chaffetz pointed out the Clinton administration said the land served no public purpose. Still, he said he plans to kill the bill.