The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and many other conservation organizations and sportsmen’s groups support Congress in its action to permanently reauthorize the Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act as part of the 2018 omnibus spending bill. Expired since 2011, the successful land exchange program will once again increase recreational access to public lands, support economic development, consolidate land ownership, and conserve special places in western states.
“We are pleased reauthorization of the Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act (FLTFA) was included in the FY 2018 Omnibus appropriations bill,” said Nancy Holland, RMEF president and CEO. “RMEF strongly supports the bill’s language to sanction strategic federal land sales that fund high-priority land conservation projects and acquisition of lands to enhance access for hunting, fishing and recreational shooting.”
Under FLTFA, strategic federal land sale proceeds by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will contribute to an account for the purchase of high-priority conservation lands within or adjacent to BLM, U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lands in the eleven contiguous western states and Alaska, and for administrative costs of BLM land sales.
The enacted bill expands FLTFA to protect additional categories of public lands, including more lands adjacent to and within national forests and places where access to BLM lands is currently inaccessible for hunting, fishing and other recreation. Lands protected by FLTFA enhance public access to popular recreational destinations and support the local tourism economy through retail sales, hotels, restaurants, gas stations and more. According to the Outdoor Industry Association, outdoor recreation in the West supports more than two million jobs and provides $254 billion in consumer spending and $17.3 billion in state and local tax revenue.
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