BlueRibbon Coalition recently engaged on a public rule making proposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Yes, you read that right. You might be asking what a financial regulator has to do with BRC’s mission of protecting recreation access to public land? The short answer is that there are serious plans in development to sell off our public lands, and if we – meaning those of us who actually visit, enjoy, and love our public lands – don’t stand up for them, no one else will.

The rule proposed by the SEC will create a new investment vehicle called a “Natural Asset Company,” which would provide opportunities for elite investors and governments to profit from the protection of natural resources. Buried on page 68,812 of this year’s Federal Register, here is how the SEC defines a Natural Asset Company, which they call a NAC:

“NACs will be corporations that hold the rights to the ecological performance (i.e., the value of natural assets and production of ecosystem services) produced by natural or working areas, such as national reserves or large-scale farmlands, and have the authority to manage the areas for conservation, restoration, or sustainable management. These rights can be licensed like other rights, including ‘‘run with the land’’ rights (such as mineral rights, water rights, or air rights), and NACs are expected to license these rights from sovereign nations or private landowners.” (Fed. Reg. Vol. 88, No. 191, 10/4/2023, page 68812)

The SEC proposed rule acknowledges that the assets that will be held by Natural Asset Companies will be our public lands – including national parks!

According to the SEC:

“These assets can be areas that are publicly owned, such as a national park, or tracts of privately owned property held by individuals or corporations.” (IEG Framework, SEC Proposed Rule Exhibit 3, page 7)

In addition to positioning our public lands and National Parks to be sold off to Wall Street, the proposed rule gives the private investment company management authority over the “ecological performance” of the enrolled federal natural assets. This authority is baked into the NAC’s definition set forth in the proposed rules. “Natural Asset Companies (NACs) — Corporations that hold the rights to the ecological performance of a defined area and have the authority to manage the areas for conservation, restoration, or sustainable management.” (Fed. Reg. Vol. 88, No. 191, 10/4/2023, page 68814)

These NACs are also likely the entities that will be lining up to secure the conservation leases that the Bureau of Land Management is proposing to create.

This could affect the entire nation and every type of use on public lands from off-roading, overlanding, primitive camping, snowmobiling, dirt-biking, mountain biking, hiking to hunting and fishing. If you have ever experienced public lands or intend to, please add your voice below before January 2, 2024. Public lands are for the public to enjoy, massive corporations on Wall Street should not be managing or making any decisions regarding these lands that could potentially restrict all uses.