Adopts motion Resisting Efforts to Sell County’s Federal Public Lands
StoryAt the March 6 meeting of the Metropolitan King County Council, the Council gave its unanimous approval to a motion opposing efforts to transfer or privatize Federal public lands in King County. The statement below was released by the Council after the vote:
“King County is home to over 366,000 acres of beautiful, sprawling and most importantly protected Federal public lands, and our intention is to keep it that way. We fear the significant consequences the County and State would face if Federal lands were relinquished.
“Individuals from every corner of the world visit our County to enjoy recreation, tourism, and the sheer splendor of the geography unique to our backyard. We are sending a strong and united message that these lands must continue to be owned and protected by the Federal Government for everyone’s enjoyment—now and into the future.”
Last year, 35 bills were introduced to seize and sell off public lands in 11 western states. Here in Washington state, a bill presently in the State House (HB 1103) goes so far as to ask the U.S. to relinquish millions of acres of public land to the state.
The adopted motion officially states that it is the policy of King County to support continued Federal ownership and management of existing Federal public lands in King County.
“This motion reflects the will of King County residents and the nation as a whole to preserve and protect our public lands. An overwhelming majority of Americans do not want our public lands handed over to the states. And for good reason—states, including Washington, cannot afford to manage more land and will be forced to sell off the favorite places we hike, camp, hunt and fish.”
Chris Krupp, Public Lands Guardian, WildEarth Guardians
“The Federal lands at risk are part of our national heritage, held in public trust for all Americans, and a key underpinning of a vibrant outdoor recreation economy. They are not meant for the exclusive use of one state or one commercial interest.”
Paul J. Kundtz, Northwest Director, The Trust for Public Land