In a video taken by American Bridge, Beauprez, who is challenging incumbent Governor John Hickenlooper (D), claimed that all public land in the state was “supposed to be Colorado’s” and that “if this were private land and the federal government was a tenant, we would cancel their lease.”
Gov. Hickenlooper questioned how Beauprez would plan on footing the bill for such a proposal, noting that estimates show that transferring Colorado’s national parks, forests and public lands to the state would cost taxpayers at least $200 million dollars. Additional estimates of the costs of fighting wildfires on lands transferred to the state could add hundreds of millions of dollars.
Although most Western voters deeply value their public lands, Beauprez is one of several candidates supporting such proposals this election season. As ThinkProgress reported last week, there are a number of right-wing politicians across the country who have been advancing proposals to transfer of control of public lands to states, or to sell them off to the highest bidder for drilling, mining and logging.