Western Governors support legislation in the Senate that would facilitate federal-state land exchanges to reduce the pattern of ‘checkerboard’ land ownership in the West.
In outreach on Aug. 29, 2018 to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Charles Schumer, the Governors encourage passage of S. 2078, the “Advancing Conservation and Education Act,” which simplifies and expedites federal-state land exchange, sale and conveyance processes.
Federal land ownership in western states is prolific and often occurs interspersed with state, county and private land. That “complicates effective and ecologically-sound management of western forests and rangelands,” states the letter signed by WGA Chair and Hawaii Gov. David Ige and Vice Chair and North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum.
Previously, WGA indicated its support for the act and included the policy resolution Federal-State Land Exchanges and Purchases for a hearing on the issue held on Aug. 22, 2018 by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests and Mining.