Basically this change means, ah heck why not give these lands away for free?House Republicans on Tuesday changed the way Congress calculates the cost of transferring federal lands to the states and other entities, a move that will make it easier for members of the new Congress to cede federal control of public lands.
Now let's see how the self-styled Teddy Roosevelt apprentice, Donald Jr, is able to keep this from becoming a huge wedge issue. I know from tracking the CO delegation that folks have voted yes for this had promised local voters in the last election they would protect public lands. Tipton voted for this as did the likely new head of Interior for Trump, Zinke.Under current Congressional Budget Office accounting rules, any transfer of federal land that generates revenue for the U.S. Treasury — whether through energy extraction, logging, grazing or other activities — has a cost. If lawmakers wanted to give such land to a state, local government or tribe, they would have to account for that loss in expected cash flow.
Bishop authored language in the new rules package that would overturn that requirement, saying any such transfers “shall not be considered as providing new budget authority, decreasing revenues, increasing mandatory spending, or increasing outlays.”
Our public lands are what we have for crown jewels in the USA. We don't have oodles of castles and jewels like Europe, but what we have I would rather have than any of that: outstanding public lands open to all to enjoy wildlife, nature, hunting, fishing, camping, photography, star parties and on and on. Let's not lose our greatness. If this happens, it's a done deal. The only way to claw those lands back after the feds cede them is really icky and very unlikely to succeed.
I would argue the threat to public lands is a far greater existential threat under Republican leadership then losing the right to bear arms under Democrats. Even if gun rights were gutted, that could be fixed by legislation. Once the public lands are sold, that's not something you can get back with just legislation and rule-making (even with eminent domain you are not going to get those lands back at Louisiana purchase prices lol). I hope all those hunters that voted straight R tickets for gun rights are happy when we no longer have any public lands worth a shit for hunting.