The Washington Times - March 17, 2011, 02:56PM

Congressman Jason Chaffetz, Utah Republican, introduced a bill on Thursday likely to have environmentalists up in arms. According to a statement from Mr. Chaffetz’s office, the Disposal of Excess Federal Lands Act (H.R. 1126) “would responsibly dispose of the nearly 3.3 million acres of land the federal government reported it does not need.”

“While there are national treasures worthy of federal protection, there are lands that should be returned to private ownership,” said Rep. Chaffetz.  “If the land serves no public purpose, and is ‘identified for disposal’ let’s return it to private ownership.”

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He continues:

“It’s been more than a decade since the land was deemed suitable for disposal and there is no critical need for the federal government to hold on to it,” said Sen. Lee. “The sale of the land alone could generate more than a $1 billion, and then there is the economic benefit of putting the land to good use.  That could mean jobs, future growth, and better prosperity for the surrounding areas.  It’s good for the state of Utah and I am happy to work with Representative Chaffetz in supporting the move.”