An Innovative Bipartisan Approach to Transfer of Public Lands
While leading on the topic of transferring select federal lands to state control for years, ALEC had not yet hosted a conference-wide event on the issue. That changed on Friday, December 2 at the States and Nation Policy Summit! ALEC held a lunch session devoted to public lands which featured Aubrey Dunn, New Mexico’s Land Commissioner, Congressman Rob Bishop (UT) and former U.S. Senator Pete Domenici from New Mexico.
Commissioner Dunn opened the discussion by sharing his plan to petition the federal government to transfer millions of unleased acres of federally-owned minerals that are beneath private land to state control, explaining that the State Land Office could then lease them and earmark the revenues for an Early Childhood Education Land Grant Permanent Fund. Senator Domenici expressed his approval for the plan.
Not surprisingly, this proposal has garnered bipartisan support. Bishop’s remarks, rooted in federalism, explained the toll that federal control of so much territory has taken on America’s West and articulated his vision for an appropriate transfer. Domenici offered the New Mexico perspective.