On Oct. 8, Reps. Ron Kind (D-WI) and Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) introduced the bipartisan Federal Land Asset Inventory Reform (FLAIR) Act. This bill would create a single database for lands owned by the federal government.

“This commonsense bill would increase transparency, cut wasteful government spending, and help us manage our public lands more effectively,” says Rep. Ron Kind. “I’m proud to introduce the bipartisan FLAIR Act and look forward to the bill providing a more streamlined approach to cataloging the public lands, buildings, and assets owned by the federal government."

“Duplicative and often incomplete federal lands inventories have consistently sent the federal government up a creek without a paddle when it comes to effectively managing our public lands. We cannot effectively confront the myriad of challenges facing our public lands while we still lack a full accounting of the lands the federal government owns right now.  The single database provided by the FLAIR Act will remedy this issue, cutting wasteful government spending, consolidating duplicative efforts, and providing transparency to the public that will unquestionably improve the management of our federal estate.” Rep. Bruce Westerman says. “I’m proud to co-lead the bipartisan FLAIR Act with Representative Kind, and I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to move this commonsense legislation forward.”

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 introduction of the Federal Land Asset Inventory Reform (FLAIR) Act,” says 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) for his introduction of the Federal Land Asset Inventory Reform (FLAIR) Act of 2021,” says 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) 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."  

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.   

Read the bipartisan bill here.