Legislation Introduced To Let States Manage National Parks, Other Public Lands
In a move not entirely surprising, U.S. Rep. Don Young of Alaska has proposed legislation to create a mechanism for states to take over management of national parks and other federal lands.
It's not surprising in that a number of states -- Utah, Colorado, Arizona, South Dakota, New York, and Tennessee -- stepped up last week to underwrite the costs of reopening parks in their states during the government shutdown.
As written, the legislation would require a state to put up at least 50 percent of the costs of running the national park in question to have its petition considered by the Interior secretary. If a state provided 55 percent of the costs of operation, it would receive 55 percent of the revenues that park generated. States would not be given title to the land.
States that gain such authority could relinquish it by writing the Interior secretary and asking to be relieved of its authority. The secretary also could void the agreement if the state defaults on payments or is found to have breached its agreement.
Introduced this past Tuesday, the bill has no cosponsors.