During a stop in Elko, Nevada last week, presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) said that he opposes the federal ownership of any public lands. After stating that he wanted to disband the U.S. Department of Interior (which manages 500 million acres of surface land including nearly 400 national parks), he responded to a question about a travel management plan in a national forest by stating:
Paul: I want as much federal land to be turned over to the state as possible—the regulatory approach to tell people how to do and what to say. So I was essentially other than the other members of Congress from this state — I very early on opposed the dumping of nuclear waste in Nevada, so I want the state to make a decision—
Questioner: This plan pertains to using ATVs and things like that on federal land.
Paul: Well, I’d be opposed to that. I don’t want the federal government dictating to Nevada, period. I’d rather see the land owned and controlled by the states.