Cynthia Coffman, the Colorado Republican attorney general candidate, was caught on tape telling supporters she is on a “mission” to fight the federal government to take back America’s national forests and other public lands and turn them back over to the states.
The video shows Coffman speaking to a crowd about her plans to attend the annual Conference of Western Attorneys General. She says the public land “has been taken from us,” and that “it is time that the Western attorneys general join together and fought back against the federal government, and we took back that land.”
As ThinkProgress pointed out, “national public lands make up 36 percent of Colorado, help support a $13.2 million outdoor recreation economy in the state, and are a top destination for tourism to iconic places such as Pikes Peak, Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, and the Maroon Bells.”
Despite the high cost the state taxpayers would incur in maintaining those lands, including fighting wildfires, there is a growing movement among politicians in the West who want those public lands transferred to state ownership.
“New bipartisan public opinion research released last month shows that the majority of Western voters oppose public lands transfer proposals endorsed by Coffman,” believing that the transfer would open the land up to being auctioned off for drilling, mining, and logging, ThinkProgress reported.
In Colorado, 66 percent of voters said it would be fiscally irresponsible to transfer the land to the state, and a staggering 80 percent believe that national forests and public lands belong to all Americans (which is why all Americans’ tax dollars currently help pay for those lands’ upkeep).
Watch Coffman’s full remarks.
Amy is a writer and researcher for Ring of Fire. You can follow her on Twitter @AEddings31.