Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, February 2, 2017

Contact: Randi Spivak, (310) 779-4894,

Chaffetz Backs Off Bill to Sell America's Public Lands After Enormous Public Outcry

WASHINGTON— After massive public outcry, Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) announced late Wednesday night on Instagram that he was withdrawing his bill to sell “excess” public lands. The bill, H.R. 621, would have required the federal government to sell 3.3 million acres of federal public lands in 10 western states.

“Chaffetz' bill to sell off America's public lands sparked massive outrage from people across the country,” said Randi Spivak, public lands director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “This spontaneous reaction should send a loud and clear message to all elected officials who are pushing to sell, give away or privatize public lands: the American people want public lands to stay in public hands.”

“Chaffetz is one of the most outspoken anti-public lands members of Congress. He's introduced a lot of bills, including one that would turn over management of oil and gas drilling on public lands in Utah to corporate interests. The majority of Americans — including Utah voters — want more protection of public lands, not more fossil fuel production. Chaffetz would be well advised to listen to the people.”

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.2 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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