March 23, 2018

Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act Reestablished

ARLINGTON, Va. — Conservation organizations, sportsmen’s groups, and outdoor recreation groups praise the U.S. Congress and the President for enacting the Fiscal Year 2018 omnibus spending bill, which includes permanent reauthorization of the Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act (FLTFA). Expired since 2011, this successful land exchange program will once again increase recreational access to public lands, support economic development, consolidate land ownership, and conserve special places in western states.

“By reestablishing FLTFA, the U.S. Congress is bringing back a common-sense solution that makes conservation work for America, supporting both local economies and the environment in the West,” said Larry Selzer, President and CEO of The Conservation Fund, the organization leading the FLTFA Reauthorization Coalition. “We are grateful for the bipartisan leadership of Senators Martin Heinrich and Dean Heller, and Representatives Rob Bishop and Raúl Grijalva, as well as champions in the Senate and House for advancing FLTFA reauthorization across the finish line.”

FLTFA orange map smallerUnder FLTFA, strategic federal land sale proceeds by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will contribute to an account for the purchase of high-priority conservation lands within or adjacent to BLM, U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lands in the eleven contiguous western states and Alaska, and for administrative costs of BLM land sales.

The enacted bill expands FLTFA to protect additional categories of public lands, including more lands adjacent to and within national forests and places where access to BLM lands is currently inaccessible for hunting, fishing and other recreation. Lands protected by FLTFA enhance public access to popular recreational destinations and support the local tourism economy through retail sales, hotels, restaurants, gas stations and more. According to the Outdoor Industry Association, outdoor recreation in the West supports more than two million jobs and provides $254 billion in consumer spending and $17.3 billion in state and local tax revenue.

A diverse list of over 190 conservation, sportsmen’s and outdoor recreation groups have supported permanent FLTFA reauthorization.

“Permanent reauthorization of FLTFA shows that it’s possible for Congress to come together and find bipartisan solutions to hunting and fishing access issues across the West,” said Jeff Crane, President of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation. “The ability to make strategic investments that provide access opportunities where they currently do not exist is critical to ensuring a bright future for our nation’s outdoor heritage.”

“We are pleased reauthorization of the Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act was included in the FY 2018 Omnibus appropriations bill,” said Nancy Holland, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation President and CEO. “RMEF strongly supports the bill’s language to sanction strategic federal land sales that fund high-priority land conservation projects and acquisition of lands to enhance access for hunting, fishing and recreational shooting.”

“The way this FLTFA reauthorization is written, it will be a win-win for fish and wildlife habitat and important public access—two of the essential prerequisites for our opportunities afield and on the water,” said Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “We’re happy to see FLTFA move forward with must-pass legislation that represents a defining victory for conservation in other ways, as well.”

“Permanent reauthorization for FLTFA represents a significant victory for America’s sportsmen and women,” said John Gale, Conservation Director for Backcountry Hunters and Anglers. “Eliminating inholdings and consolidating disconnected public lands not only fosters greater management efficiencies, it’s an effective way to enhance fish and wildlife habitat and increase public access.”

“The Trust for Public Land is pleased that FLTFA has been permanently reauthorized in the omnibus,” said Kathy DeCoster, Director of Federal Affairs for The Trust for Public Land. “This is a big win for conservation in the West, and a bipartisan win-win solution. We’re grateful to House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop and Ranking Member Raúl Grijalva, and Senators Martin Heinrich and Dean Heller for their leadership in getting this over the finish line after a long wait.”

In the U.S. House of Representatives, House Leadership and Appropriations Members, including Subcommittee Chairman Ken Calvert (R-CA), Ranking Member Betty McCollum (D-MN) and Representative Mike Simpson (R-ID) advanced the bill in its final stages. House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) led a permanent FLTFA reauthorization bill (H.R. 5133), with Ranking Member Grijalva’s support as part of the unanimous approval at Committee markup.  H.R. 5133 advanced as the language in the FY 2018 omnibus. Cosponsors include Representatives Greg Gianforte (R-MT) and Scott Tipton (R-CO). Past leaders in the U.S. House include Representative Dan Newhouse (R-WA) and former Representative Cynthia Lummis (R-WY).

In the U.S. Senate, Senate Leadership and Appropriations Members, including Subcommittee Chairman Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Ranking Member Tom Udall (D-NM) helped advance FLTFA in the spending bill, with authorizing Committee Chairman Murkowski’s and Ranking Member Maria Cantwell’s (D-WA) leadership. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and Dean Heller (R-NV) co-led a permanent FLTFA reauthorization bill (S. 2185), that was also widely supported, with the additional cosponsors of Senators Tom Udall (D-NM), James Risch (R-ID), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Steve Daines (R-MT), and Jon Tester (D-MT).

For more information about FLTFA Reauthorization, visit


Ann Simonelli | The Conservation Fund | 703-908-5809 |