Rep. American Kind: Legislation to improve the management of federal lands was the subject of a legislative hearing

washington d.c. – Today, the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held a legislative hearing on Ron Representatives Kindly (D-WI) and by Bruce Westerman (R-AR) Federal Land Inventory Reform Act (FLAIR). This bipartisan bill would create a single database for lands owned by the federal government.

“We need to provide a more streamlined approach to cataloging federally owned lands, buildings and public assets,” said Rep. Ron Kindly. “This common-sense legislation will help us manage our public lands more efficiently, while increasing transparency and reducing unnecessary expense.”

“The FLAIR Act is essential good governance that will save taxpayers money. A myriad of redundant and disconnected inventories of our federal lands and properties have consistently hampered responsible land management and resulted in exorbitant waste year after year. For example, the federal government spends about $2 billion a year to manage and maintain vacant or unused properties. The single, searchable database created by the FLAIR Act will remedy this persistent problem, reduce unnecessary expense, consolidate redundant systems, and provide the public with complete accounting of the federal domain, leading to better stewardship of all of our lands. I am proud to lead this legislation with Congressman Kindly and advocating for fiscal responsibility here in Congress,” said Representative Bruce Westerman.

The federal government is the largest landowner in the United States, but there is currently no comprehensive database to show exactly what land and infrastructure the federal government owns. A simplified and searchable database would give land managers access to more accurate information and help save taxpayers money.

National and local groups involved in and affected by federal mapping efforts have issued statements in support of the FLAIR Law and its introduction in October 2021.

“Land surveyors recognize the value of landowners having a full and comprehensive understanding of everything they own. It’s just good stewardship. The federal government is no different. Good stewardship starts with a solid inventory. The surveying profession in Wisconsin would greatly benefit from a current and accurate inventory of federal lands. Passage of this common sense legislation is long overdue and WSLS enthusiastically supports the provisions of this bill. We thank the representative Kindly for taking steps to address this much-needed reform,” said Bryan Meyer, president of the Wisconsin Society of Land Surveyors.

“US GEO Congratulates Representatives Ron Kindly (D-WI) and Bruce Westerman (R-AR) for their bipartisan introduction of the federal Land Asset Inventory Reform Act (FLAIR),” said John Palatiello, founder of United States GEO. “This legislation will help the Department of the Interior and other departments and agencies become better stewards of federal lands and land managers, while saving taxpayers money by providing current and accurate land inventory to replace over 100 duplicate, siled, non-interoperable legacy property management systems within the Home Office and advancing the concept of “map it once, use it many times”.

“The National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS) salutes the leadership provided by Representative Ron Kindly (D-WI) for its introduction of the Federal Land Asset Inventory Reform Act of 2021 (FLAIR),” said Wisconsin NSPS Director Richard Kleinmann. “NSPS stands ready to contribute to the goals of this important legislative reform and urges Congress and the President to enact the FLAIR Act.

Read the bipartisan bill here.