Forum on Extremism on Public Lands

The House Natural Resources Committee and Homeland Security Committee held a  forum on anti-government extremists’ escalating threats to public lands and federal land management authorities. The forum, titled Countering Extremism on America’s Public Lands, highlighted the threats anti-government extremists pose to homeland security, public lands, communities and public servants.

In a survey released last year, it was found that state and local law enforcement place anti-government extremism as one of the top three terrorist threats in their jurisdictions. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, anti-government groups grew by one third in 2015. Anti-government groups, just like foreign terrorist organizations, recruit and spread propaganda through social media and online platforms. The anti-government movement is classified as a right wing ideology of extreme, farfetched notions. However, recent events show this movement may become more common. In fact, a recent report by the Center for American Progress found that since 2014, anti-government militants have led five armed takeovers of national public lands.