As 2017 began, within days it became clear that wild places on federal lands were going to be attacked on two fronts. The new Republican led Congress wasted little time in targeting regulations and facilitating legislative strategy to weaken protections for or dispose of federal lands. The Trump administration has also signaled that the next four years will require vigilance and sustained advocacy if we are to keep existing protections for our wild lands and waters.
Public Lands are Public Issues and currently those public lands are under attack – An all out war on our public lands has already begun.
- On their FIRST day the newly elected U.S. House of Representatives passed a controversial provision (H.R. 5) changing the way Congress calculates the costs and economic value of federal parks, forests and national wildlife refuges. The provision in essence implies our public lands have no intrinsic or economic value and paves the way for transferring or selling off our public lands to the highest bidder.
- Days later, Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT-3) Introduced legislation (H.R. 621) that would direct the interior to immediately sell off an area of public lands equaling 3.3 million acres. In a press release Chaffetz claimed that the targeted lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) served “no purpose for taxpayers.”
- The NEXT DAY Congressman Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) introduced H.J. Res. 46 seeking to repeal updates to the National Park Service’s rules that require detailed planning and safety standards for oil and gas drilling in over 40 National Parks. If these rules are repealed this leaves some of America’s most treasured landscapes, our National Parks, open to threats from drilling and mining.
Over the course of the coming weeks, months, and years we expect additional Congressional attacks on our bedrock environmental laws, including efforts to sell off federal lands owned by all Americans to oil, gas and mining companies. Washington Wild will continue to stand guard in defense of our public lands, but we need your help!
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Please send a message to your representative to show your support for America’s public lands! Encourage them to stand strong in support of public lands protections and oppose attacks on Washington’s public lands.