It was Mark Twain who admonished Americans to buy land. “They’re not making it anymore.”

The object of that statement could easily be converted to public land. They’re not making any more of that, either. In fact, if a shortsighted movement to sell or give federal land in the West gains much more traction, there could be a whole lot less public land in America.

That includes Forest Service land on both sides of the Mississippi, Bureau of Land Management land in the West, and smaller chunks of land managed by the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

You can read more about this land sale here, but it’s time to step up and stop this movement in its tracks. The “divestiture” movement is showing up as draft legislation in state legislatures around the West this month. In Montana alone, some two dozen bills are promoting the idea of selling federal land. The movement has even more momentum in Utah.

This movement is well organized. It’s well funded. And it’s serious as a snakebite.

Luckily, there’s an easy way to say you think it’s a wrong-headed idea. Tomorrow, at the SHOT Show in Las Vegas, a petition will be unveiled that will allow hunters, shooters, anglers, and hikers who recreate on federal land to stand up for public land and the access it allows us.

A coalition of sportsman’s organizations hopes that everyone who enjoys public land now—or plans to in the future—will add his or her voice to the conversation. Visit to learn more about the issue, and then sharpen your pencil. It’s time to add your name to the ranks of those who enjoy a uniquely American gift: accessible federal land.