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Zinke does it again: Bucks party leaders and votes NO on transferring ownership of public lands

June 15, 2016
Press Release

Zinke does it again: Bucks party leaders and votes NO on transferring ownership of public lands

(CONGRESS) June 15, 2016 – Today in a House Natural Resources Committee markup, Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke voted against a bill offered by former Committee Chairman Don Young (R-AK), H.R. 3650, the State National Forest Management Act of 2015. This bill would permit up to two million acres of public lands owned by the U.S. Forest Service to be transferred to state ownership. To add insult to injury, the bill also does not include a provision requiring that purchased or exchanged lands remain in public ownership.

“I’m starting to wonder how many times I have to tell these guys in leadership I’m not going to allow Montana’s public lands to be sold or given away,” said Rep. Zinke after the vote. “Two million acres is a lot, even in Montana. That’s the Flathead National Forest, poof, gone. Lolo National Forest, gone. We use our land for hunting, fishing, hiking, and to create jobs. Our outdoor economy is a billion dollar economic engine for the state that creates jobs. The federal government needs to do a much better job of managing our resources, but the sale or transfer of our land is an extreme proposal and I won’t tolerate it.”

In May 2015, Zinke voted against the GOP budget because it included vaguely-written language that would allow the sale of public lands.  In July of 2015, Zinke again voted in defense of public lands on an amendment to the Department of Interior Appropriations bill that would have prohibited the Department from using funding in violation of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976. Zinke was one of eight Republicans joining Democrats in support.

 

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