The U.S. Forest Service has already posted a list of "Lands Potentially Eligible for Sale" on its website. Some of these lands are in the middle of beloved natural treasures -- the Alaskan rainforest, the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem, the Greater Cumberland Plateau region and California's spectacular Sierra Nevada.
A separate Bush proposal would reverse longstanding law so that the administration can put an estimated 500,000 acres of public wildlands -- overseen by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) -- on the auction block and use the proceeds for deficit reduction. Currently, the BLM is allowed to sell off public land but the law requires the agency to use the proceeds to buy other land for the public. The Bush Administration wants Congress to change this law so it can sell our land to developers and then use 70 percent of the proceeds to cover its budget shortfall.
Together, these two scandalous proposals would put a "For Sale" sign on 1,250 square miles of our natural heritage -- an area the size of Yosemite National Park -- in the hopes of raising $1 billion in short-term cash. Dozens of newspaper editorials across the country have already expressed outrage at the administration's proposed sell-off of our public lands -- lands which belong to all Americans, present and future.