Over the past year, our public lands and waters have been under siege like never before. National monuments, the Arctic Refuge, sensitive coastal areas, have all had their protections removed. Countless other public land protections and environmental safeguards have been scrapped. Soon we may be adding the selloff of our public lands to that list.
The Trump administration’s recently leaked infrastructure document, titled “Funding Principles,” appears to call for selling off America’s great outdoors to special interests as a way of funding its infrastructure goals. In the section titled Disposition of Federal Real Property, it “would establish through executive order the authority to allow for the disposal of Federal assets.” If enacted, President Trump and/or Secretary Zinke would be able to sell our publicly owned lands as they see fit.
Apparently, it does not matter that during the campaign both Trump and Zinke claimed to oppose any efforts to sell or otherwise transfer America’s public lands. This is something CRS will be monitoring closely.