The Wall Street Journal editorial board says Rep. Rob Bishop is right to try and rein in the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which is being used by the Obama administration and environmental groups to seize more and more private land.
President Obama, congressional Democrats and some desperate-for-re-election Republicans are portraying House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop(R., Utah) as a gunslinging outlaw for suggesting that the fund should be reined in, not reauthorized permanently at up to $900 million a year.
Useful updates would include mandating that more spending go toward states, as well as freeing up cash for chipping away at the upkeep backlog and banning the seizure of property. And why not suspend land acquisitions until the feds can account for everything they own? No spending program deserves eternal funding, so reauthorization should be capped at 10 or 20 years.
Many in Washington are eager to promote the program as happy spending that keeps watch over Old Faithful and beautifies your home town. But as with so many environmental causes, the fund long ago turned into an avenue for clinching more federal control.