Washington, DC – Yesterday, Reps. Ron Kind (D-WI) and Bruce Westerman’s (R-AR) legislation, the Federal Land Asset Inventory Reform (FLAIR) Act, passed out of the House Natural Resources Committee. This bipartisan bill would create a single database for lands owned by the federal government.     

“This commonsense bill would provide a more streamlined approach to cataloging the public lands, buildings, and assets owned by the federal government,” said Rep. Ron Kind. “The FLAIR Act will help us manage our public lands more effectively, all while increasing transparency and cutting wasteful spending.” 

“There is no single mechanism to fully account for the roughly 640 million acres of federal lands and countless federally owned properties across the nation. The Department of the Interior alone uses more than 100 different property management systems and 26 different financial management systems nationwide, a number that’s dramatically magnified when multiplied by all the other agencies and departments spread across the federal government. The FLAIR Act solves this problem by consolidating thousands of different information systems into one comprehensive database. This searchable online system will provide transparency and clarity for the public, empower our federal agencies to make choices faster and easier, and ultimately save precious taxpayer resources. This is a great, bipartisan bill that will improve the management of our federal estate and yield significant benefits for the American people,” said Rep. Bruce Westerman, Ranking Member, House Committee on Natural Resources.  

The federal government is the largest landowner in the United States, but currently there is no one comprehensive database to show exactly what lands and infrastructure the federal government owns. A streamlined, searchable database would give land managers access to more precise information and help save taxpayer dollars. 

National and local groups involved with and affected by federal mapping efforts issued statements in support of the FLAIR Act. 

“U.S. GEO commends Representatives Ron Kind (D-WI) and Bruce Westerman (R-AR) for their bipartisan leadership on the Federal Land Asset Inventory Reform (FLAIR) Act,” said U.S. GEO Founder John Palatiello. “This legislation will help the Department of the Interior and other departments and agencies become better stewards of Federal lands and better land managers, while saving tax dollars by providing a current, accurate land inventory to replace the more than 100 duplicative, stove-piped, non-interoperable legacy property management systems in the Department of the Interior and advance the concept of ‘map it once, use it many times.” 

“The National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS) commends the leadership provided by Representative Ron Kind (D-WI) and Bruce Westerman (R-AR) on the Federal Land Asset Inventory Reform (FLAIR) Act of 2021,” said NSPS Director from Wisconsin Richard Kleinmann. “NSPS stands ready to help with the objectives of this important reform legislation, and strongly encourages Congress and the President to enact the FLAIR Act into law.” 

“The surveying profession in Wisconsin would greatly benefit from a current, accurate inventory of Federal lands which would make public land survey system surveys involving Federal lands more efficient,” said Wisconsin Society of Land Surveyors (WSLS) Past-President Ed Harvey. “WSLS is very thankful for Representative Kind’s vision in addressing this important government reform effort as authorized in the Federal Land Asset Inventory Reform (FLAIR) Act.” 

Read the bipartisan bill here.   

Print Friendly, PDF & Email