Chaffetz’ Federal Land Disposal Act Passes Committee, Heads to House for Consideration

Jan 28, 2014

Washington, D.C. – Today, the House Natural Resources Committee passed H.R. 2657, the Disposal of Excess Federal Lands Act of 2013, legislation sponsored by Congressman Jason Chaffetz. This bill would direct the Secretary of the Interior to sell nearly 3.3 million acres of federal land deemed suitable for disposal.

“The federal government owns nearly one-third of the nation's land-mass and continues to spend millions of dollars each year to acquire more and more,” said Chaffetz. “If the land serves no public purpose, and is identified for disposal, we need to take it out of the hands of the government and return it back to the people.”

In a 1997 Clinton Administration report performed by the Department of Interior, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) identified approximately 3.3 million acres of land across ten western states deemed suitable for sale to non-federal entities. H.R. 2657 would responsibly dispose of this land, which would equate to just over 1% of BLM land and less than half of 1% of all federal lands. In Utah there would be 132,931 acres of eligible land.

Additionally, under this legislation, all proceeds from the sales would be directed to the US Treasury to help reduce the $17 trillion debt.

H.R. 2657 now moves to the full House of Representatives for consideration.