Thursday, November 17, 2011

Groups support reauthorization of Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act

Groups including the Sierra Club, The Conservation Fund and Wyoming Outdoor Council say they support legislation being promoted as way to help the federal government pay for an expensive addition to Grand Teton National Park. Wyoming Republican Rep. Cynthia Lummis has written a bill to reauthorize the Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act. The act, which expired this year, helped the federal government buy land using proceeds from the sale of other lands. "There are tens of thousands of acres that have been identified by the BLM as land they can't manage or doesn't fit their management goals. It's surplus land. And we need to be selling that and using those funds to acquire lands that do fit the federal land management goals," she said. From 2000 until this year, the law helped the U.S. Bureau of Land Management dispose of more than 27,000 acres of public land while generating more than $117 million in sale receipts. The land sales provided some $94 million for land acquisition by the BLM, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Forest Service, according to the BLM. The four agencies together acquired 18,400 acres for $55 million. Remaining funds in the program reverted to the U.S. Treasury when the act expired this year...more

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