EAST OF EDEN

Field and Stream - - ON THE COVER -

A LANDS TRANS­FER ISN’T JUST A WEST­ERN PROB­LEM

this is your fight. Don’t be fooled. If you live out­side the West, don’t as­sume that the ef­forts to trans­fer, and in­evitably sell, our vast pub­lic lands isn’t any of your busi­ness. What hap­pens in Ve­gas, this time around, won’t stay in Ve­gas. This crazy idea to trans­fer pub­lic lands will gain trac­tion in the Mid­west, and the East, and the North, from sea to shin­ing sea.

The fed­eral gov­ern­ment owns only 4 per­cent of lands east of the Mis­sis­sippi River, but that 4 per­cent in­cludes, for starters, 1.25 mil­lion acres of na­tional for­est in North Carolina and an­other 1.2 mil­lion acres in Florida. But such lim­ited fed­eral own­er­ship makes the fight in the East all the more crit­i­cal. Al­ready, state leg­is­la­tors in at least four Eastern states—Arkansas, Ge­or­gia, Ten­nessee, and Virginia—have put forth res­o­lu­tions fa­vor­ing the pub­lic-lands trans­fer. The Ever­glades, the Ozarks, the South­ern Ap­palachi­ans—it’s all up for grabs.

This is your fight if pub­lic land any­where, of any size, mat­ters to you. This is the time to draw the line in the very dirt you own. Don’t give up a sin­gle Arkansas river­bot­tom, West Virginia moun­tain holler, or South Carolina marsh. Be­cause if we do, we will never get it back. And Amer­ica will never be the same.

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