Potential for Public Land Transfers Under the Trump Administration
AAEA believes federal lands should be privatized to the maximum extent possible. Moreover, a reasonable percentage of such land should not only be turned over to the states but should be donated to African Americans as a reparation for slavery.
The federal government owns or controls over 640 million acres of land in the United States. Approximately 92 percent of the federal lands are located in the twelve western states. Except for a few million acres that are managed by the Department of Defense, the federal landholding is managed primarily by four agencies; the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the National Park Service (NPS) and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS). The extent of federal ownership varies by state, with Alaska having the largest federal landholding (223.8 million acres) and Nevada having the greatest degree of federal ownership (approximately 85 percent of all land.)
In its 2016-17 platform statement, the Republican Party (GOP) called upon Congress to “immediately pass universal legislation providing for a timely and orderly mechanism requiring the federal government to convey certain federally controlled lands to states.” The GOP platform asks state and national leaders to exert their “utmost power and influence” to urge the transfer of federal lands to “all willing states for the benefit of the states and the nation as a whole.” (Martin Law, 5/31/2017)