Eight of the ten members of the U.S. House of Representatives from Washington State have cosponsored a resolution pushing back on recent congressional efforts to weaken protections for our public lands.
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 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.
In some encouraging news, to combat this obvious outpouring of anti-public lands legislation, in February of 2017 Rep. Reichert (R-WA-8) and Rep. Lowenthal (D-CA-47) introduced H. Con. Res. 27, a bipartisan resolution which expresses that America’s Federal public lands are national treasures that belong to all Americans. It also expresses that our public lands are important for local economies, job-building, hunting, fishing, critical habitat, cultural and religious groups, wilderness and solitude and that “once Federal public lands are unsustainably developed, many of those varied and invaluable attributes are lost indefinitely.”
Since its introduction, the Washington State Delegation has led the way in voicing the importance of our nation’s public lands. To date, a total of 24 Republicans and Democrats representing 11 states have signed on to Co-Sponsor the resolution: one-third are from Washington State alone.
This resolution serves as a signal that both Republicans and Democrats recognize the importance of public lands to our nation and their constituents. Millions of Americans visit public lands each year to hike, camp, bike, climb, and explore. We all need places we can go to unwind from the stress of everyday life, reconnect with our families, and recharge. Our stunning National Parks, Forests, Refuges and BLM lands support healthy families, millions of jobs, and a thriving outdoor economy, not to mention provide clean air and water, critical wildlife habitat, and recreational opportunities for families.
Read the resolution here.
Thank or Urge your Member of Congress to cosponsor the bipartisan Public Lands resolution today.