In the US, a staggering 3.3 million acres are being sold in a controversial deal.
To put that into perspective, it's almost like our three biggest counties, Cork, Galway and most of Mayo's total land being sold in one batch. The huge acreage of land to be sold is actually the same size of one of America’s 50 states, Connecticut.
The land being sold is public, and it’s been described as serving no purpose for taxpayers. It’s currently maintained by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
Federal land from 10 states will be lost through the sale of the 3.3 million acres, and environmental groups don’t agree with the process set to happen in the near future.
The New House Bill is what’s deciding the land sale, introduced by Rep. Jason Chaffetz, Republican from Utah in the House of Representatives.
Wilderness.org, an American website dedicated to these kinds of issues, has spoken out against the New House Bill which it says is ‘deeming 3.3 million acres as worthless to the American people’.
The sale will essentially ‘dispose’ of the acres on America’s shared national public lands; it will affect Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming.
The Wilderness.org site points out that conveniently, the bill comes just a day or two after the House passed a ‘rules package that makes such land seizure plans easier to execute’.
The land, which Wilderness.org considers an important portion of the USA’s natural heritage, is considered to be no use to the US taxpayer believes Chaffetz.
Alan Rowsome, senior government relations director for The Wilderness Society, has made following statement on the huge land sale:
“What’s worthless to allies of the fossil fuel industry for all except oil and gas extraction has irreplaceable value to the American people for hiking, hunting, camping, fishing and countless other pastimes that Teddy Roosevelt first acknowledged were central to the strength and well-being of this nation.
“Today, those outdoor pastimes have a $646 billion value and contribute millions of American jobs to rural communities without harming the lands and waters themselves.”
The blame for this environmentally shocking move has been laid unabashedly at Trump’s feet:
"Trump's allies in Washington laid the tracks for this land takeover scheme the moment they started their legislative session, and now they're driving a locomotive over the American people and our wild natural heritage."