Bennet, Gardner Introduce Bipartisan Public Lands Management Bill

Legislation Would Reauthorize the Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act

Washington, D.C. - Colorado U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D) and Cory Gardner (R) this week introduced a bill to reauthorize the Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act (FLTFA). Before it expired in 2011, FLTFA allowed the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Park Service in the Western United States to use the proceeds from sales of certain federally designated areas to protect lands of exceptional conservation value.

"In Colorado, conservation is not only part of our heritage, but also vital to our outdoor recreation economy," Bennet said. "We'll work to advance this legislation that boosts economic development, improves land management, and conserves high priority land for future generations."

"This fiscally responsible, bipartisan bill will prioritize conservation across Colorado and the West at no cost to the taxpayers," Gardner said. "I'm proud to work with Senator Bennet and others from both sides off the aisle on this legislation to ensure future generations of Coloradans can enjoy our great state's natural treasures."

For more than a decade until it expired in 2011, FLTFA allowed the preservation of important sites across the Western United States 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.

In Colorado, FLTFA resources have been used to complement projects funded by the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO). The "land for land" concept has helped federal agencies acquire approximately 4,500 acres of land within the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument to preserve cultural artifacts. It has also helped conserve important wildlife habitat and preserve public access for hunting, fishing, and other outdoor recreation.

Additional cosponsors of FLTFA include U.S. Senators Dean Heller (R-NV), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Tom Udall (D-NM), James Risch (R-ID), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Steve Daines (R-MT).

The legislation is supported by more than 165 groups, including many sportsmen, recreation, conservation, and historic preservation groups, such as The Conservation Fund, The Trust for Public Land, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, New Mexico Wildlife Federation, and Nevada Land Trust. A list of groups is available HERE.

A copy of the bill is available HERE.