Santorum calls for handing federal lands to states

February 15, 2012 4:44:19 AM PST
Republican presidential contender Rick Santorum says he supports handing over control of hundreds of thousands of acres of federal land across the West to states or the private sector.

Santorum complained Tuesday that federal officials and agencies like the Bureau of Land Management and National Forest Service lack the resources to properly manage public land and resources.

Instead, Santorum said he prefers turning a large chunk of federal land over to states and business that could profit from the natural resources.

He also said the federal government could gain financially by selling off acreage in states like Idaho, where 63 percent of its total acreage is under federal management.

Santorum, sporting cowboy boots and his trademark sweater vest, spoke to more than 3,000 supporters at a Boise high school.