Protect Our Public Lands

“Acre in, Acre Out Act” would limit the nature we can protect

The Acre in, Acre Out Act Act prohibits the net increase of federally managed land and could be problematic for future conservation efforts.

Dixie Pass Wrangell-St. Elias Wilderness, Alaska

The Acre in, Acre Out Act, introduced by Representative Morgan Griffith aims to prevent the net increase of acreage under the management of federal agencies. The act requires that if new land is acquired by any of these agencies, an equal amount of land must be sold off by the same agency. 

This bill is counter to conservation efforts as it would effectively prevent Federal agencies from buying or receiving donated land to create new or expand existing national parks, national monuments or wildlife refuges. The Acre in, Acre Out Act could be a roadblock in President Biden’s plan to protect 30% of our lands and waters by 2030

A 2018 study done by the Center for American Progress shows that only around 12% of the country’s land has been conserved as “national parks, wilderness areas, permanent conservation easements, state parks, national wildlife refuges, national monuments, or other protected areas.” And, almost 97% of that conserved total is publicly owned land, reinforcing the importance of public lands in ongoing conservation efforts. While many private landowners take actions to conserve their land, some may choose to sell or donate it, as in a recent example in Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park. This bill would make such transactions more difficult in the future by requiring the sale of an equal number of acres. We want our parks to grow, not shrink.

We urge members of Congress to vote against the Acre in, Acre Out Act so we can have bigger parks in the future. 

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