Zinke Introduces Legislation to Protect Public Lands

Congressman Ryan Zinke this week introduced the Public Lands in Public Hands Act. The Montanna Republican Representative announced the legislation during a roundtable in Bozeman, Montanna.

The legislation would ban the sale or transfer of most public lands managed by the Department of the Interior and U.S. Forest Service except under specific conditions and where required under previous laws. The bill also requires Congressional approval for disposals of publicly accessible federal land tracts over 300 acres and public land tracts over five acres if accessible via a public waterway. This provision alone would protect public access to nearly 30 million acres of public lands depended upon by outdoorsmen of all types across Montana.

Zinke says, “Public lands must remain public, and the federal government has a responsibility to manage and ensure access to those lands.” Zinke partnered with Democrat Congressman Gabe Vasquez from New Mexico on the legislation.