Every Western state has editorialized against efforts to dispose of American public lands.
Explore this page to learn more.


from Arizona:

“[Western] states have sold off 40 percent of their public lands. If the states acquired more land from the federal government why would anyone think that 40 percent of it would not be sold off too? And do we want federal lands being sold outright to the highest bidder? Public lands are what make living in the West living in the West.”

December 16, 2014 | Arizona Daily Sun

from Colorado:

“Even if Colorado intended to maintain [national public lands] now in their present state, it hasn’t the resources or manpower to acquire and manage them. To suggest otherwise is naive.”

October 24, 2014 | Denver Post

from Idaho:

“The pointless crusade to illegally seize federal lands has ground on for years. It’s an expensive farce, one that will go nowhere and serves only to keep hardliners well fed. Too much has already been spent on second legal opinions, useless meetings and general griping.”

April 1, 2015 | Twin Falls

from Montana:

“Even if federal law were amended so that these lands (an estimated 25 million acres) could be handed over to the states, polling shows most Montanans—and most Americans (the collective owners of these lands)—oppose such a transfer. Outdoor businesses and sportsmen groups have spoken out loudly against this idea, knowing that state management of these public lands would fall far short of what the federal government is able to do.”

January 1, 2015 | Bozeman Daily Chronicle

from Nevada:

“It’s clear, for instance, that Nevada doesn’t have the financial resources to be a proper caretaker of Red Rock Canyon or the sprawling Humboldt-Toiyabe, with its campgrounds, trails, fishing lakes, off-road riding, picnic areas and accommodations for winter sports. What would the state do, then? All eyes would turn to the extraction of natural resources, including gold, silver and oil.”

April 27, 2015 | Las Vegas Sun

from New Mexico:

“Public lands are not the property of the “government,” they are the shared heritage of all citizens. They belong to us, and to our children and eventually to their children.”

December 3, 2016 | Santa Fe New Mexican

from Oregon:

“Public lands are a shared legacy of all Americans…. No Congress, president or county commission should ever be allowed to dispose of eternal assets in return for immediate gains.

May 19, 2015 | The Daily Astorian

from Utah:

“While it is uncertain whether the federal court system would consider transferring 31.2 million acres of energy and mineral rich land into state control, it is equally uncertain whether such a thing would be a good deal for Utah taxpayers.”

December 14, 2015 | Deseret News

from Wyoming:

“…[I]nstead of wasting time cooking up schemes for states to take possession of federal lands, which Wyomingites have demonstrated they do not want, Wyoming legislators should be working with the feds to improve the systems already in place.
… These lands are irreplaceable. We in Wyoming should recognize these benefits and work to preserve these lands for what they are — an American tradition and a national treasure.

June 1, 2016 | Casper Star-Tribune

Explore editorials from across the country: