Recently, Senate Republicans overwhelmingly voted to approve an amendment that would allow state governments to seize control of national forests. This could lead to selling national forests to private developers. Republicans have proposed allowing drilling and other activities in previously protected forests.
This would allow the lands to be exploited for oil, coal, and other fuels. It could also turn public land into private property, depriving American citizens from being able to visit and enjoy these areas. Almost every Republican in the U.S. Senate voted to approve the bill. It was rejected by every Democrat.
If the bill is eventually signed into law, it could end the American conservation system as we know it. It is a sad decline for the GOP, a party that once championed the careful conservation of precious natural resources. Previous Republican presidents, such as Theodore Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan, believed in preserving the environment. The modern GOP, however, seems bent on destroying it.
Even iconic landmarks such as the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone National Park could be threatened. Many groups are critical of the amendment, including BackCountry Hunters and Anglers, a advocacy group for hunters and fishermen. This group generally votes Republican, but even they disagree with their approach to this issue.