Congressman Wants to Sell Wildlife Refuge to Private Developers


Representative Rob Bishop of Utah has authored a new bill to help with Puerto Rico’s debt crisis. The problem is that it includes a provision that would allow the sale and private development of the Vieques National Wildlife Refuge.

Under the bill, 3,100 acres of the refuge to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico who could then sell it off to private interests. This means it could be developed on, threatening the animals that live there, including 12 endangered animals and plants as well as 190 species of migratory and resident birds.

Vieques National Wildlife Refuge was original an area where the U.S. navy conducted live munitions bombings. The bombings were halted in 2001 due to residents’ opposition and was then turned into a refuge. It is currently the fourth most popular refuge in the National Wildlife Refuge system.

It is unclear why Bishop is pushing for the refuge to be part of the debt relief bill. Not only did Puerto Rico not ask for the land to be put up for development, but disposing of the land won’t even address the debt crisis. Plus, selling off public lands is a highly unpopular idea.

But Bishop has a history of attempting to sell of federal lands. In the past he has sponsored a bill that would dispose of 40,000 acres of public land in Utah and has organized a group to sell off national public lands.

The House Natural Resources Committee will conduct a hearing for the bill on April 13.


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Alexandra Jacobo is a dedicated progressive writer, activist, and mother with a deep-rooted passion for social justice and political engagement. Her journey into political activism began in 2011 at Zuccotti Park, where she supported the Occupy movement by distributing blankets to occupiers, marking the start of her earnest commitment to progressive causes. Driven by a desire to educate and inspire, Alexandra focuses her writing on a range of progressive issues, aiming to foster positive change both domestically and internationally. Her work is characterized by a strong commitment to community empowerment and a belief in the power of informed public action. As a mother, Alexandra brings a unique and personal perspective to her activism, understanding the importance of shaping a better world for future generations. Her writing not only highlights the challenges we face but also champions the potential for collective action to create a more equitable and sustainable world.