It’s almost certain that Donald Trump’s presidency will refuel a “drill, baby, drill” policy on federal lands in the West. The president-elect has also vowed to scuttle the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulations on coal-fired power plants and other rules aimed at curbing global warming.
Environmentalists are less certain what to expect from the Trump White House on a simmering backburner attempt to “transfer” federal lands into the hands of the states that want them.
Conservative politicians and activists contend that the people who live near the federal lands are best equipped to determine how they should be used.
An organization called the American Lands Council is a leader of the transfer movement. The nonprofit American Legislative Exchange Council drafts bills for interested legislators. Several Western states, including Colorado’s neighbors to the north and west, have passed legislation to study the transfers. Such a bill passed the Republic-controlled state Senate in Colorado last session, but it died in the Democrat-controlled House.