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Sportsmen, wildlife and environmental groups from states around the country, including Michigan, have a request for those running for the White House: keep public lands in public hands.

 

Forty organizations released a letter Thursday asking the presidential hopefuls to commit to protecting federal public lands for future generations.

 

They are also asking candidates at the state level to oppose turning over control of public lands to states or selling them to private interests.

 

National Wildlife Federation Great Lakes Regional Outreach Coordinator, Frank Szollosi, says incidents like the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupation in Oregon are concerning threats.

 

"Those were extremists who were trying to accomplish with the point of a gun what some in Congress are trying to do with the point of a pen – and that is, wrest control of public lands from all Americans into the hands of a privileged few."

 

O'Mara contends people need to keep fighting to maintain access to public lands.

 

The federal government owns an estimated 640 million acres of land, including about 3.6 million acres in Michigan.

 

 

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