Sen. Craig Thomas (R-Wyo.) has introduced a bill that would prohibit the federal government from acquiring land in states where it already has title to more than 25 percent of the land. In the meantime, congressional Republicans are facing off against Democrats over the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, which takes tax revenues from offshore oil and gas leasing and puts them toward open space, parks, and recreation. Both parties agree that the program, which hasn’t been fully funded in years, should be permanently allotted at least $900 million a year. But Democrats want to use about half that money for land acquisition mostly at the federal level, while Republicans want all the money directed to the local level for parks, recreation, and conservation.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.