Serious concerns linger over what Trump's cabinet will do to national parks

Apparently a few people are vying to become Donald Trump's interior secretary.

That speculative list includes oil company CEO Harold Hamm, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and — according to a Politico source — former Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin.

But what the Department of the Interior will look like under a Republican-controlled Congress and presidency is still up in the air.

And some critics are particularly worried about our national parks. Rumors about what Republicans might do with the national park's system have been circulating since earlier this year.

Trump is on record saying he's opposed to transferring or selling federal land. But a senior campaign adviser of his told MSNBC in April that part of Trump's plan to lower the national debt would involve selling U.S. assets.

See more photos of our national parks:

The beauty of the United States' National Parks
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The beauty of the United States' National Parks
Late afternoon view of Grand Canyon National Park, Cape Royal, North Rim, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, USA, (Photo by Wild Horizons/UIG via Getty Images)
USA Hawaii Big Island - magma of the Halema'uma'u (in Caldera des Kilauea, Volcanoes National Park) (Photo by Rolf Schulten/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
Desert environment, Sand dunes, Stovepipe Wells, Death Valley national park, California, USA (Photo by: Geography Photos/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
A large container ship passes under the Golden Gate Bridge on April 1, 2014, in San Francisco, California. San Francisco continues to be a major global tourist destination and has experienced a real estate and high-tech boom in recent years. (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)
Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming (Photo by ullstein bild via Getty Images)
Mount Rushmore National Memorial towers over the South Dakota landscape on October 1, 2013 near Keystone, South Dakota. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Spray from Oregon's most photographed waterfall, Proxy Falls, beautifies nearby logs and rocks with lush growths of moss, Three Sisters Wilderness, Willamette National Forest, Oregon, USA, (Photo by Wild Horizons/UIG via Getty Images)
USA, Wyoming, Grand Teton National Park, Teton Range, Pfeiffer's Homestead, Sagebrush. (Photo by Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images)
USA, Wyoming, Yellowstone National Park, Upper Geyser Basin, Chromatic Springs. (Photo by Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images)
 Fireworks explode over the Statue of Liberty in celebration of the anniversary of its dedication on October 28, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Bass Harbor Lighthouse. (Photo by John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images)
USA, Alaska, Gates of the Arctic National Park, river valley with mountains in background. (Photo By DEA / M. SANTINI/De Agostini/Getty Images)
The sensitive ecological landscape of the Everglades National Park, home to many endangered and rare plants, is seen from the air on March 16, 2015 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
The moon and Venus shine beyond joshua trees under a storm-scoured sky in Joshua Tree National Monument, January 28, 2000, as a cold front moves out of southern California leaving snow in the desert and skies of blue. (Photo by David McNew/Newsmakers)
Because of excessive spring rains in 2005, the usually visible salt patterns in Badwater were covered with water for many weeks. (Photo by: MyLoupe/UIG via Getty Images)
USA, Northern California, Redwood National Park, Lady Bird Johnson Grove, Redwood Trees. (Photo by Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images)
USA, Alaska, Near Seward, Kenai Fjords Np, View Of Kenai Mountains. (Photo by Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images)

And in July, a committee within the Republican Party voted to return federal lands to the states a party platform.

That proposal found new support among some Republicans after protesters took over a wildlife refuge in Oregon and called for the federal government to return public lands to the states.

It led some peopleto think the GOP wanted to get rid of national parks and national forests altogether.

But the proposal actually isn't that simple. For one thing, the platform only calls for "certain federally controlled public lands" to be returned to the states, but it doesn't specify what those "certain" lands are.

And the American Lands Council — an organization representing 12 states — has been working on this very issue. They want to make sure national parks aren't transferred to the states.

The Trump administration would have to overturn or weaken the Antiquities Act, which Teddy Roosevelt signed into law in 1906, to remove protections already extended to existing national parks.

So while it's possible some federal lands could be sold off, the national parks are probably safe.

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