Public Lands

Our “On the Issues” pages draw from speeches, interviews, campaign websites, our candidate questionnaire and prior media coverage, including our own. These pages will continue to be updated.

Steve Barlock

On whether Colorado should have more control over federal lands within its border: “I fully support the actions of President Trump and Secretary Zinke relating to working with Utah regarding a more cooperative stance on the use of federal lands than the Obama administration had followed. Specifically, I would support working with our ranching and energy sector in utilizing our abundant natural resources. I am also hopeful that President Trump will renegotiate NAFTA to allow the Colorado timber industry to expand including the clearing and use of beetle kill to mitigate the impact of forest fires in our state.” —The Colorado Independent candidate questionnaire

Cynthia Coffman

No publicly stated position at this time

Lew Gaiter

On whether Colorado should have more control over federal lands within its border: “While local control over federal lands would certainly be welcome. The additional costs both in terms of times and personnel would put a strain on higher priority options in the Colorado State budget.” —The Colorado Independent candidate questionnaire

Noel Ginsburg

On whether Colorado should have more control over federal lands within its border: “The financial and human infrastructure to protect the federal lands within Colorado’s borders are deeply integrated into our federal government and federal institutions. I wholeheartedly believe that we must protect all federal lands and open space within our borders, and fight against any attempt, federal or otherwise, to sell them off, open them up to development, or diminish their quality.” —The Colorado Independent candidate questionnaire

Mike Johnston

“As governor, he will fight any effort to sell off our state’s public lands.” Mike Johnston for Colorado

On whether Colorado should have more control over federal lands within its border: “As a lifelong Coloradan, I know first-hand the beauty and value of Colorado’s public lands. I believe that our public lands should be safeguarded for the enjoyment of all Coloradans, not destroyed for the enrichment of private interests. As governor, I would oppose new drilling, coal mining, and oil and gas development on state public lands and would oppose the transfer of federal public lands to the state; Colorado does not have the infrastructure, capacity or resources to manage these lands.” —The Colorado Independent candidate questionnaire

Cary Kennedy

As governor, I will never let our public lands be sold to the highest bidder. We face constant threats from fringe groups and some Washington, DC politicians to transfer control of our public lands, weakening protections. I oppose any efforts to sell off, transfer management of, cut down, or commercialize our National Parks and National Monuments. Donald Trump’s Executive Order to shrink Bears Ears National Monument by 85% and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument by nearly 900,000 acres is shocking and irresponsible. As governor, I will do everything I can to defend Colorado against similar threats to our public lands.” Cary Kennedy for Governor

On whether Colorado should have more control over federal lands within its border: “Our public lands belong to all Americans. I do not support returning federal public lands to the states. The state does not have the budget capacity to steward that amount of land and it would result in selling off our state’s public lands to the highest bidder. Colorado must be a leader in protecting our open space and our water so our children and their children inherit the Colorado we love. Our lands, clean air and rivers also give us an economic advantage. Businesses want to be here, where we value public lands, our environment, and quality of life. That is why I have laid out a comprehensive plan to protect Colorado’s open space. My goal as governor is for Coloradans to work together to conserve 1 million acres of land and 400,000 acre-feet of water by 2050, even as our State’s population grows.” —The Colorado Independent candidate questionnaire

Greg Lopez

On whether Colorado should have more control over federal lands within its border: “Yes, through an IGA, Intergovernmental Agreement. I believe that states should have more control over federal lands within its borders. Coloradans have a greater appreciation and understanding how best to utilize, enjoy and care for the land and its natural resources. States can also respond more quickly to emergencies and other natural disasters.” —The Colorado Independent candidate questionnaire

Donna Lynne

On whether Colorado should have more control over federal lands within its border: “Coloradans cherish and value our public lands, and we owe it to future generations to continue protecting them in the years ahead. This is not just a good environmental policy, it makes increasing sense from an economic standpoint, as the recent relocation of the Outdoor Retailer show to Colorado from Utah shows. Not only will the trade show pump $100 million into our economy each year, it solidifies our spot as a leader in this industry, which can be an economic driver from Craig to Commerce City, from Pueblo to Poudre Valley.” —The Colorado Independent candidate questionnaire

Victor Mitchell

“He said freeing up 1 percent of public lands could lead to the creation of jobs in the oil field.” The Durango Herald

In The Colorado Independent’s candidate questionnaire, Mitchell said he does think Colorado should have more control over public lands in its borders.

Jared Polis

Coloradans understand in our core that public lands have value far beyond industrial development. As governor, I will work to ensure that our public lands are protected from overzealous development and that every Coloradan has every opportunity to have their voices heard in these decisions that affect the future of these lands. Colorado deserves a strong seat at the table here and in D.C. when it comes to conversations about what happens to the land, wildlife, trails, and resources in our backyards.” Jared Polis for Colorado

On whether Colorado should have more control over federal lands within its border: “The federal government has an important role to play preserving federal lands — and the vital environmental and economic benefits they bring us — for future generations. I’m extremely troubled to see the Trump administration walking away from this important responsibility. I was proud to release a detailed plan to protect Colorado’s outdoor to “Keep Colorado Wild.” My plan has three key planks: Protecting our public lands and fighting back against any attempt to sell them off to the highest bidder; promoting Colorado’s outdoor recreation economy and the 200,000+ jobs it sustains, and preserving Colorado’s most important natural resource, water, in the face of climate change and population growth.” —The Colorado Independent candidate questionnaire

Doug Robinson

On whether Colorado should have more control over federal lands within its border: “Being as that’s more of a federal issue, I’ll leave it to Mike Coffman to figure out. What we absolutely need is a governor who will advocate on behalf of Coloradans, working with the congressional delegation to get the federal government off the backs of Coloradans.” —The Colorado Independent candidate questionnaire

Walker Stapleton

The federal government owns roughly 47% of the land in the West, and the various federal laws that govern land management practices place an emphasis on the concept of multiple uses. Federal land management agencies should consult with the states where this land is located and involve them in the decision-making process for how these lands are managed. Furthermore, I support moving the Department of Interior to Colorado, where significant federal lands are located, so Washington bureaucrats can better understand the impact and consequences of their top-down mandates. …Together, we can safely develop our natural resources. We can have a booming energy sector, create thousands of well-paying jobs, and protect Colorado’s environment for current and future generations.” Stapleton for Colorado

Erik Underwood

On whether Colorado should have more control over federal lands within its border: “I would work with our congressional delegation on a plan to work in partnership with our federal government to maintain eco friendly lands for all to enjoy.” —The Colorado Independent candidate questionnaire


Photo credit: One Day Closer, Creative Commons, Flickr 

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