WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement announcing that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), in response to a request from the Congressman, has created a webpage that displays BLM managed public lands that are potentially available for disposal:
“It’s been almost 20 years since the BLM last submitted a comprehensive report to Congress listing all land under the agency’s jurisdiction potentially available for disposal. Given the fact that the total federal estate exceeds more than 635,000,000 acres, it is irresponsible for the agency to continue to request nearly $90 million a year for more land acquisition without even conducting an inventory of the land already under the agency’s jurisdiction.
“What Washington bureaucrats fail to realize is that western states, like my home state of Arizona, are sick and tired of big government land grabs that severely limit economic development and reduce opportunities for future prosperity. I’m pleased to see agency officials comply with my request, but it shouldn’t take a scolding from Congress in order for the BLM to provide a list of lands not being used that should be put up for sale. Sportsmen, ranchers, local communities and taxpayers alike benefit from maintaining an updated inventory. By injecting transparency into this process, Congress can make better use of the lands that belong to the American people.”
The BLM webpage link can be found here: http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/planning/planning_overview/lands_potentially0.html
The Federal Government has extensive land ownership in small and large parcels interspersed with or adjacent to private, State, and tribal lands throughout the United States, making many of these parcels difficult to manage and more appropriate for disposal.
On March 3, 2016, Congressman Gosar questioned BLM Director Kornze during a House Natural Resources Subcommittee hearing on the president’s 2017 budget. Following the Congressman’s request, Director Kornze promised to provide members of Congress and the public with a detailed inventory of lands eligible for disposable. Video from the hearing can be found HERE.
Currently, only about 18 percent of the land in Arizona is privately held. The overwhelming majority of land is under the jurisdiction of state, federal and tribal governments and these entities control use, development and access.