America today faces significant economic challenges. The transfer of public lands from the hands of the federal government to the states is the only solution big enough to tackle these challenges head-on. As such, our “Free The Lands” project will shepherd the transfer to the states from the federal government.
For too long we’ve been told that western federal lands should be preserved like a museum for future generations. However, this approach has only given us heartache in the form of polluted air and water, distressed and unsafe communities, and the loss of recreational access. In stark contrast, Free The Lands promotes a vision whereby these lands will be tended and gardened by the very people who know and love the land. This will be the path to clean air and water, vibrant and safe communities, and quality recreational opportunities.
Below are some resources and publications to assist you in the Free The Lands movement:
UNITED STATES| January 2016
Coalition Letter: Free The Lands for More Effective Local Care and Management – America is a Land of Promise. We promise the world that government exists to secure equal opportunity, fundamental fairness, the right and control of property, and the right of individuals to determine their own destiny. To protect life and liberty, but to take away the right to control property – “which is the fruit and the badge of [our] liberty” – is to shatter this promise, leaving states and their people as “second-class citizens.” Today, the federal government still controls more than 50% of all lands west of the Rocky Mountains, but less than 5% of all lands to the east. This inequality…
UTAH | December 2015
Utah Commission for The Stewardship of Public Lands: Transfer of Public Lands Legal Analysis – Nearly 250 years ago, thirteen English colonies in North America declared their independence from the Crown. In doing so, they created thirteen nation-states; sovereign, free and independent not only of Britain but of each other. As nation-states, they had exclusive jurisdiction over the people and territory within their geographical limits. No law of any other State or nation was enforceable or enforced within their borders. They formed their own legislatures, elected their own legislators, had their own executive departments, maintained their own courts, passed their own laws and exercised dominion over all the land they encompassed. They also succeeded to the ownership of any land that…
UNITED STATES | 2015
ALCF: Transfer of Public Lands to Willing Western States – Welcome to the Wild West! Record setting catastrophic wildfires. Trillions of dollars — yes, trillions — in rare earth minerals and energy resources locked up. Eastern states paying billions in tax dollars to subsidize the western States to not manage their own lands and resources. It’s all true. Why? How can this be? The answer may surprise you. These alarming conditions exist because the federal government controls more than 50% of all lands west of Kansas. The results have been disastrous. “Analysis paralysis” and “management by litigation” epitomize federal land management, and have handcuffed local stewards, resulting in one-size-fails-all consequences for western communities, and for our nation. A solution does exist…
ARIZONA | IDAHO | MONTANA | NEW MEXICO | March 2015
Divided Lands: State vs. Federal Management in the West – Nearly half of the western United States is owned by the federal government. In recent years, several western states have considered resolutions demanding that the federal government transfer much of this land to state ownership. These efforts are motivated by concerns over federal land management, including restrictions on natural resource development, poor land stewardship, limitations on access, and low financial returns. This study compares state and federal land management in the West. It examines the revenues and expenditures associated with federal land management and compares them with state trust land management in four western states: Montana, Idaho, New Mexico, and Arizona. The report explains why revenues and expenditures differ between state and federal land agencies and discusses several possible implications of transferring federal lands to the states…