Media Statement: The Conservation Fund Supports Swift Passage Of Western Lands Bill In The House
May 22, 2013
“The Conservation Fund applauds Representatives Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and Peter DeFazio (D-OR) for introducing bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act (FLTFA) (H.R. 2068), a critical western lands program. We also appreciate Representative Mark Amodei’s (R-NV) support as an original cosponsor.
“The introduction of the House bill comes a week after the U. S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources unanimously approved FLTFA; and we are encouraged by the strong leadership of our congressional champions to reauthorize this important program. FLTFA is a win-win for the economy and conservation. It not only provides for economic development opportunities for counties, ranchers and others wishing to acquire BLM lands, but also ensures high priority conservation lands are protected at national forests, refuges, parks, and BLM areas. Additionally, this legislation helps federal agencies and other private landowners consolidate land ownership, which allows for more efficient land management and expanded business operations. We look forward to working with Representatives Lummis, DeFazio, Amodei and others to restore FLTFA for the benefit of the West.”
Originally enacted in 2000, FLTFA is a program for the eleven contiguous western states and Alaska that uses a “land for land” approach through which strategic Federal land sale revenue provides funding for priority land conservation within or adjacent to Federal lands. Before FLTFA’s authority expired in July 2011, the Bureau of Land Management completed hundreds of sales, generating over $117 million and funding 39 conservation projects with willing sellers. Projects included river frontage for fly-fishing access at North Platte River Special Recreation Management Area, big-game winter habitat at Elk Springs Area of Critical Environmental Concern in New Mexico, historic preservation at Canyons of the Ancients National Monument in Colorado, and many other sites. These new recreational sites and cultural resources enhance the local tourism economy through retail sales, hotels, restaurants, gas stations and more.
About The Conservation Fund
At The Conservation Fund, we combine a passion for conservation with an entrepreneurial spirit to protect your favorite places before they become just a memory. A hallmark of our work is our deep, unwavering understanding that for conservation solutions to last, they need to make economic sense. Top-ranked, we have protected more than 7 million acres across America.