Kaitlyn Glover recently said the Great American Outdoors Act sounds wonderful but in actuality is a federal land grab. Glover serves as both the executive director of Natural Resources for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association as well as the executive director of the Public Lands Council.
“One part of the bill tries to address the deferred maintenance backlog where they have more maintenance where that they need to do in a given year than they have money to pay for. But the real problem with this bill is in the second half. The Great American Outdoors Act, what it would do for the Land and Water Conservation Fund is really the crux of the problem here.”
The Land and Water Conservation fund provides money for states for conservation and recreation, along with allowing the federal government to acquire more public lands. The Great American Outdoors Act makes funding for the Land and Water Conservation fund mandatory.
“Meaning that Congress is no longer setting levels every year for that fund. It bypasses congressional oversight. And, when you pair those two pieces together, you have an authorization for the federal government to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to acquire more land, when we are already acknowledging in that first part, they can’t pay for what they already own.”
Simply put, Glover calls the bill a federal land grab.
“$360 million every year, forever, will go for these federal agencies to buy more land. That problem in the West, where you have a significant federal footprint, but it’s also a problem in some of the eastern states as well, where you’re going to start to see increased spending, and an increased federal footprint and federal law, application as well.”
The Public Lands Council represents 22,000 ranchers who raise cattle and sheep on federal land across the U.S.
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