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For Immediate Release


Randi Spivak, (310) 779-4894,

Press Release

Chaffetz Backs Off Bill to Sell America's Public Lands After Enormous Public Outcry


After massive public outcry, Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) announced late Wednesday night on Instagram that he was withdrawing his bill to sell “excess” public lands. The bill, H.R. 621, would have required the federal government to sell 3.3 million acres of federal public lands in 10 western states.

“Chaffetz’ bill to sell off America’s public lands sparked massive outrage from people across the country,” said Randi Spivak, public lands director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “This spontaneous reaction should send a loud and clear message to all elected officials who are pushing to sell, give away or privatize public lands: the American people want public lands to stay in public hands.”

“Chaffetz is one of the most outspoken anti-public lands members of Congress. He’s introduced a lot of bills, including one that would turn over management of oil and gas drilling on public lands in Utah to corporate interests. The majority of Americans — including Utah voters — want more protection of public lands, not more fossil fuel production. Chaffetz would be well advised to listen to the people.”


At the Center for Biological Diversity, we believe that the welfare of human beings is deeply linked to nature — to the existence in our world of a vast diversity of wild animals and plants. Because diversity has intrinsic value, and because its loss impoverishes society, we work to secure a future for all species, great and small, hovering on the brink of extinction. We do so through science, law and creative media, with a focus on protecting the lands, waters and climate that species need to survive. 

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