The Desert IndependentTM
Serving Blythe and the Desert Regions of the Southwest Since 2001
Group calls for California to take back federal lands
August 22, 2017
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif – California Freedom Coalition, the grassroots non-profit behind the initiative “California Autonomy from Federal Government,” called for the State of California to actively seek ownership of federal lands through a proposed amendment to SB 50, a bill currently before the State Assembly. SB 50, introduced by Senator Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica) calls for the State Lands Commission to intervene in any attempt to sell off federal lands. It is part of a larger legislative package known as Preserve California.
“Preserve California is exactly the sort of approach we had in mind when we wrote the language in our initiative calling our state government to ‘buffer Californians against chaos, dysfunction, and uncertainty at the federal level’,” said Dave Marin, Director of Research and Policy of the California Freedom Coalition. The group endorsed SB 49 (De León D-Los Angeles), another bill in the Preserve California package, which would enshrine current federal environmental, public health, and labor standards in state law.
“Our concern with SB 50 is that it writes into state policy that federal lands should remain under federal ownership forever,” said Marin. “We see the fact that 45% of our state is owned and controlled by the federal government as a historical anomaly, not a bedrock principle. What matters is continued public ownership of public open space. The federal government sets such a low baseline that we think state ownership would be preferable in most cases.” Marin cited the 2013 Rim Fire near Groveland, CA as an example of mismanagement of federal land.
“We are a grassroots non-profit with a mission that goes beyond a single initiative,” said Steve Gonzales, president of the California Freedom Coalition. “Our focus is on fair representation for Californians, and, until we can get that through national electoral reform, greater autonomy through our own state government. If necessary, we’re ready to fight for California’s autonomy one policy, one piece of land, at a time.”
Dave Marin will be present at the Assembly Appropriations Committee at the State Capitol (Room 2114) starting at 9 AM on Wednesday and is happy to take questions from the press.
About The California Freedom Coalition: The CFC is a not for profit, non-partisan organization that was formed to educate and advocate for the voting rights of California. We are a grassroots organization dedicated to ensuring that California and its nearly 40 million citizens and residents have a truly proportionate voice and vote in electing a national government that reflects their values, intentions and expectations. Please visit our website at calfreeco.org.
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