Lummis, Western Caucus Colleagues Introduce Legislation to Protect Western Lands from Radical Environmental Activists

March 8, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senate Western Caucus Chair Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) alongside Western Caucus members John Barrasso (R-WY), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Pete Ricketts (R-NE), James Risch (R-ID), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Mike Lee (R-UT), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Tom Cotton (R-AR) and James Lankford (R-OK) introduced the Protect America’s Lands Act which seeks to amend the Securities Exchange Act to prohibit a national securities exchange like the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) from listing Natural Asset Companies (NACs). NACs create a financial vehicle for radical environmental activists to raise capital to seize public and private lands throughout the west and restrict energy production, grazing, mining, recreation and additional economic development.

“Wyoming’s economy depends on access to federal land as our landscapes generate income for multiple industries and draw thousands of people to the Cowboy State each year,” said Lummis. “Allowing NACs to be listed on stock exchanges would create a backdoor way for activist liberal investors to implement the Green New Deal by locking up millions of acres of land. The people of Wyoming will always be the best stewards of our land, not activists and certainly not foreign nationals.”

“Economies in Wyoming and across the West thrive from mining, grazing, energy production and timber logging. The New York Stock Exchange tried to sell-out America’s public lands to the highest bidder. We cannot allow this liberal playbook to be used again,” said Barrasso. “Ongoing efforts to bring NACs to the market would hurt responsible land and resource management activities. Our legislation makes sure greedy exchanges and radical, climate elitists are not able to take our public lands hostage and disrupt our way of life in Wyoming.”

“Decisions on how to manage our public lands should come from Idahoans—not activist investors. We must stop radical environmentalism from impeding on the integral role working lands play in Western economies, including Idaho’s,” said Risch. “The Protecting America’s Lands Act will prevent Wall Street from managing public lands in favor of their green agenda and protect mining, timber, grazing, and other multiple uses.”

“Idahoans who live and work on and near the land are best equipped to drive local land management decisions that consider an ‘all-of-the-above’ approach to public lands management, not a preservationist-only approach crammed by climate and liberal activists,” said Crapo. “Enabling NACs to be listed on the NYSE would threaten local decision making and the multiple-use designations of public lands in Idaho by allowing private corporations and foreign investors to manage federal land. We must protect our environment in a manner that ensures the vitality of our forests and rangelands and protects the rights of property owners while maintaining public access and resilient, self-sustaining economies for our rural communities.”

“Biden’s army of far-left bureaucrats wants new tools for environmental activists to lock up land across Nebraska,” said Ricketts. “Nebraskans know how to balance productivity and conservation. We’re far better stewards of our lands than Green New Deal radicals. This bill will protect our lands and prevent activists in Washington or New York from imposing their extreme policies on states like Nebraska.”

“We cannot stand idly by while radical environmental activists seek to weaponize our public lands, jeopardizing vital aspects of Utahns’ livelihoods such as resource development, grazing, and recreation,” said Sen. Lee. “The proposed rule change to allow Natural Asset Companies (NACs) to list on the NYSE would not only facilitate this agenda but serve as a vehicle for these activists to raise capital and seize public and private lands throughout the West. At every juncture, we must resist blatant federal land-grab schemes and attempts to impose a radical left-wing energy agenda. I’m proud to stand with Senate Western Caucus Chair Lummis as we push back against the persistent attempts by the Biden administration to undermine Westerners and work to restore American energy dominance.”

“Time and time again, radical environmentalists find new ways to attack rural communities and our way of life,” said Senator Marshall. “I’m proud to stand with my colleagues to prevent extremists and foreign nationals’ latest land grab attempts. Communities have been built upon the use and access of federal lands and we simply can’t sacrifice their blood, sweat, and tears because unelected activists don’t want any deer hunted, any cattle to graze, or any tree to be cut on public lands.”

Rep. Mark Green (R-TN) introduced the House companion bill alongside Rep. Harriet Hageman (R-WY).


The Protect America’s Lands Act amends the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 to prohibit the listing and trading of NACs on a national securities exchange.

On October 4, 2023, the SEC published the NYSE’s notice of a proposed rule change that would allow the exchange to list NACs, enabling them to raise the capital to buy land and potentially gain control over national parks, federal land and even private land. 

On January 18, 2024, Lummis led a letter alongside House Western Caucus Chair Dan Newhouse (R-WA) urging the SEC citing serious concerns over the NACs proposal. Shortly after their letter was sent the NYSE withdrew its rule proposal.

Click here to read the full bill.