'Landmark' Bill To Allow Sale Of Public Land To Finance Development

Growth advocates applaud a bill to sell public land to finance local projects but conservationists are worried about what they consider a dangerous trend that benefits only developers.

"The proposed Washington County Growth and Conservation Act would sell up to 40 square miles of federal land and use the proceeds to finance a multimillion-dollar water pipeline and other local projects...The Washington County plan and others like it highlight the growing tension between growth advocates and others who fear that the West's unique legacy of protected public land is in jeopardy along with the wildlife, clean air and water that go with it.

"For conservationists, however, the bill is part of a dangerous trend...Janine Blaeloch, director of the Western Lands Project, a Seattle-based group that monitors the sale of federal lands [says] 'small groups benefit, and those are developers, paving companies and golf course developers. Where federal land has been taken over for development, it ends up being used for second homes and high-end development.'"

Full Story: Eyes in the West Are on Federal Land Sale

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