December 7, 2017 9;30 a.m.
Oregon Senator Ron Wyden has joined a group of bipartisan western Senators in introducing a bill to reauthorize an expired law that allowed four federal agencies to use the proceeds from the sales of certain federally designated areas to protect lands of “exceptional conservation value”.
A release from Wyden’s office says the success of the programs has shown that “economic growth and environmental conservation do not have to be mutually exclusive concepts”. He says the bipartisan legislation proves that Congress can develop “common sense strategies to public lands management that will protect some of “our most precious and vulnerable lands while encouraging economic growth without damaging our special places”.
The release says that for more than a decade until it expired in 2011, the Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act allowed the preservation of important sites across the western U.S. without the use of taxpayer money. The program also assisted in better land management practices by disposing of isolated or difficult to manage parcels identified by the public land management agencies themselves, according to Wyden’s release.
Wyden, along with senators from New Mexico, Nevada, Idaho, Colorado and Montana are among those co-sponsoring the Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act. Wyden says the legislation is supported by more than 165 groups, including many sportsmen, recreation, conservation and historic preservation groups.