Conservatives Seek Ally in Trump in Western Land Disputes
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Conservatives who have long complained about the government's control of vast Western lands hope they will have a new ally in Donald Trump.
The president-elect has sent mixed signals about how he might manage land and whether he would relinquish federal authority over millions of acres. He has pledged to honor Theodore Roosevelt's tradition of conservation in the West. But he has also said he will "unleash" energy production there and has railed against bureaucrats in land-management agencies.
Dozens of demands for land handovers have surfaced in Western state legislatures in recent years. More are sure to be offered in Congress during the Trump administration. Karla Jones works for the American Legislative Exchange Council, which develops bills for conservative lawmakers. She says many conservatives see this as a "rare opportunity."