Press Release

House Republicans attack public lands on opening day of Congress

U.S. Capitol Dome in Washington, DC

U.S. Capitol Dome in Washington, DC

Mason Cummings (TWS)

Rule change that would make it easier to sell off federal land to states

This evening, the House Republican conference passed a rule change that would make it easier to sell off federal land to states. Current rules requiring spending offsets would be abolished. The change is part of the House rules package. It would mean that lawmakers would no longer have to find spending offsets for bills that transfer federal land to state or tribal entities.

In response, Alan Rowsome, senior government relations director for The Wilderness Society said:

“Right out of the gate, Congressional Republicans are declaring open season on federal lands. We’re not even a day into this new Congress and House Republicans are voting to give away our nation’s parks, forests and refuges disguised in a budget rulemaking procedure. This is not Theodore Roosevelt-style governing, this move paves the way for a wholesale giveaway of our American hunting, fishing and camping lands that belong to us all. Make no mistake, the giveaway is for the benefit of the drilling and mining interests that have a lock-grip on Congress and the rest of Washington.”


Tony Iallonardo, 202-429-2699,

Kate Mackay, 602-571-2603,

The Wilderness Society is the leading conservation organization working to protect wilderness and inspire Americans to care for our wild places. Founded in 1935, and now with more than one million members and supporters, The Wilderness Society has led the effort to permanently protect 109 million acres of wilderness and to ensure sound management of our shared national lands.