Republican Party Wants To Privatize Public Land

Could include National Parks

Grand Teton National Park
Grand Teton National Park
Teton County, Jackson, WyomingJeff Gunn via Flickr

The National Park Service protects the places that define America, from the Grand Canyon's mile-high red walls and the Rocky Mountains' snow-dusted crags, down to Minute Man in Massachusetts, home of the first battle of the American Revolution. The 2016 Republican Party platform includes the federal government ceding public land, which might put areas like these at risk.

The progressive news site Think Progress reports:

“Congress shall immediately pass universal legislation providing a timely and orderly mechanism requiring the federal government to convey certain federally controlled public lands to the states,” reads the adopted language. “We call upon all national and state leaders and representatives to exert their utmost power and influence to urge the transfer of those lands identified."

The article continues that the platform language doesn't define which public land should be transferred, but author Jenny Rowland speculates that it would leave "national parks, wilderness areas, wildlife refuges, and national forests apparently up for grabs and vulnerable to development, privatization, or transfer to state ownership."

This isn't the first time folks have talked smack against our public land. Nevada congressman Crescent Hardy unsuccessfully tried to prevent President Obama from creating new national monuments last year, according to an article published on MSNBC, and the 2012 GOP platform, stated on protecting land, "private ownership has been our best guarantee of conscientious stewardship."

No matter what party you identify with, I kind of assume most of us like having national parks. America is a cool place with cool stuff. And people frequently ruin cool stuff that goes unprotected.