Wyoming has 30 million acres of public land that are coming under threat. With her first vote in the House of Representatives, congresswoman Liz Cheney voted against her constituents’ wishes and voted in favor of a bill that could jeopardize our priceless public lands.
The Congressional Budget Office rules require the federal government to add up all the money earned on federal land from resources, mineral extraction, logging and grazing and then subtract that from expected earning in the event of a sale or transfer, according to the Washington Post. But the new laws make the land sales budget neutral, which means the loss of revenue would not be factored into a sale, transfer of land. Making the land incredibly cheap for outside interest to purchase. Cheney also advocates for the transfer of these public lands from federal control to state control. Cheney argues that the state will better be able to manage the land than the feds. However, this is completely false, the state lacks sufficient fund to maintain and manage these lands and these would then likely be sold off, at a nominal cost to oil, coal and gas companies that would not only restrict the public’s access to these lands but also cause unimaginable environmental and ecological damage. The lax environmental regulations that exist in Wyoming could change the landscape of Wyoming forever. The fact of the matter is, the feds do a better job protecting these lands than the state of Wyoming will.
Proponents of the amendment are ignoring the scores of environmental, economic and legal realities to push an ill advised and dangerous pro-development agenda. This is nothing more than a public land grab designed to benefit a few wealthy outside interests while hurting everybody else. This movement to transfer federal lands to state control has been gaining major traction in many western states and is almost exclusively funded by some of the richest people in the nation because that is who will really benefit from any transfer.
What’s more, is this is not a partisan issue. Wyomingites on both sides are enraged by Liz Cheney’s vote. If you enjoy the outdoors, whether for hunting or hiking, this legislation will diminish your ability to have access to land you utilize. Don’t believe me? Look at the current checkerboard of public and private land making it impossible to access much of southern Wyoming’s BLM land for everyone, except those who profit by grazing their cattle on it. If the outdoors is not your thing remember that these lands have value beyond resources and we need to preserve them for future generations.
“If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them something more than the miracles of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it,” Lyndon B. Johnson said.
Let congresswoman Cheney know your disappointment with her ill advised action, make it impossible for her to continue to ignore the people she is supposed to represent. Hopefully, then, she will come to her senses and side with the majority of Wyoming’s citizens and vote against any future transfer legislation.