Nashville, TN – House Republicans today passed a bill supporting increased mining of the nation’s parks and ultimately restricting access for hunters, fisherman and campers to thousands of acres of national parks.
The resolution, HJR0092, sponsored by Representative Andy Holt (R-Dresden), supports the transfer of certain western national parks to state control.
“This bill is a bad idea. States don’t have the money to run national parks,” said Representative Jason Powell (D-Nashville). “If states are awarded control, they will have to sell the land rights to foreign companies just to foot the bill. These companies will then have the oil, timber and mining rights to lands in our states, closing the door to the hunting, fishing, and camping that we all enjoy as citizens.”
Commenting on this bill, Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Stewart said, “Rep. Holt’s claim that millions of acres of land are under-utilized is just a way to open the door for mining on these areas and the destruction of our natural resources.”
Noting that sportsmen’s groups across the county have fought against this type of legislation in other states, Powell added, “Millions of Americans use these lands to spend time with their families, put food on their tables through hunting and fishing, and enjoy the great outdoors. This legislation is a vote against our heritage and our birthright as Americans.“