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Graves Introduces Legislation to Stop the Federal Government’s Land Grab

Jul 29, 2014
Press Release

Measure Focuses on Maintenance Backlog

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Sam Graves (MO-06) today introduced the No More Land Act aimed at slowing the rate at which the federal is acquiring land. 

The federal government owns over a quarter of all United States land. This is more land than it is able to maintain; the National Park Service alone has a maintenance backlog over $12 billion. Yet, the federal government continues to acquire more land at an alarming rate. 

“Over the years, we’ve seen these agencies buying up more and more private property,” said Graves.  “A lot of times it’s for environmental projects, like those we’ve seen along the Missouri River for so many years.” 

Despite a staggering maintenance backlog, it continues to acquire more land.  The No More Land Act would prevent the federal government from acquiring any more land under the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).  Specifically, it changes the language and meaning of the LWCF from acquiring land to maintaining it. The bill also eliminates the entire maintenance backlog within 25 years.

“We have a federal government that has grown too big and is trying to do too much.  This is just the latest example,” said Graves.  “My bill goes a long way in setting new priorities for these federal agencies and stopping the blatant power grab we have seen from them for too long now.”

No More Land Act

  1. Changes the purpose of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) from acquiring land to maintaining it.
  2. Requires each agency that administers these lands to provide a report to Congress that prioritizes their land, based on success of programs carried out, within four years of the bill’s enactment.
  3. Requires each agency that administers these lands to reduce their backlog by 20 percent every five years until the backlog is eliminated.
    1. Along with this five-year requirement, each agency must also report to Congress the progress made, a list of prioritized projects, and a plan to reduce the backlog over the next five years.
  4. Requires each agency that administers these lands to issue a final report once backlogged maintenance is complete, detailing a prioritized list of land based on the agencies’ success at accomplishing their respective stated goals and describing a system of regular land maintenance