WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, released the following statement on the passage of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Rules Package, which included a rule change that will make it easier for Congress to give away public lands:
“House Republicans slipped a provision into their new rules to make it easier to give away our public lands--for free. This fiscally irresponsible move would rob the American people of the outdoor places they have enjoyed for generations.
"Proponents of land giveaway bills that would transfer our public lands to states fail to acknowledge that many of these lands would be turned over to the highest bidder and that Western taxpayers would be saddled with the costs of overseeing the rest. This would result in a proliferation of locked gates and ‘No Trespassing’ signs in places that have been open to the public and used for generations. And it would devastate outdoor traditions like hiking, hunting, camping, and fishing that are among the pillars of Western culture and a thriving outdoor recreation economy.
"I know Americans are ready to join me in fighting back against any effort to seize our lands or to undo the legacy of over a century of conservation policy. I can’t think of anything more fundamentally American than defending the public land we all own and love."