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WGA Seeks Reauthorization of Federal Program

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The Western Governors’ Association recently urged reauthorization of the Federal Lands Transfer Facilitation Act. The group says it supports reauthorization because the act helps resolve the “checkerboard” land ownership pattern in the West that hinders effective management of federal and state lands. Under the WSCLA proposal, states would have the right to relinquish state trust lands within federal conservation designations to the United States, and select replacements lands from unappropriated federal public lands within the states.  As an example, the State of Wyoming is currently trying to resolve the disposition of land parcels in Grand Teton National Park which the federal government had agreed to purchase over the period of four years, but now may not be able to complete the sale due to budget cuts.  The state is discussing an exchange for BLM land and mineral rights as a possible alternative to complete the sale. The reauthorization is sponsored by Representative Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, who entered WGA’s letter of support for reauthorization into the record at a July 19th hearing of the Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation for the Committee on Natural Resources.

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