In two weeks I will be on Capitol Hill in DC (third trip this year) to meet with our adversaries in congress who are supporting elimination of many of our national monuments, national parks, national conservation areas and national forests, YOUR national public lands.
I will also be meeting with members of the Trump Administration Dept. of the Interior staff. It is so important to meet with our adversaries on national public lands issues as they are in full control of the process in DC right now.
The Administration and its many allies in congress are now taking a two prong approach to attacking our national public lands.
1) by using the 2018 federal budget process to reduce funding for national public land units the Administration does not feel warrant protections, such as many national monuments, national forests and national conservation areas in the western U.S. and will instead open those lands up to oil and gas drilling, coal and uranium mining, logging and cattle grazing.
2) supporting congressional legislation such as the Public Lands Initiative (PLI) soon to be introduced into congress by congressman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) which would remove all protections for federal lands in the state of Utah. Similar legislation is being drafted for other states in the western U.S. who do not want the U.S. Government owning/managing national parks, national monuments, national conservation areas and national forests.
3) And on top of all of this will be upcoming actions by the President to reduce the size and eliminate protections of many national monuments and other national public land units as well as National Marine Sanctuaries.
We are in an epic battle to save some of the most spectacular landscapes and endangered ecosystems in the United States.
We have powerful adversaries in congress and in the Trump Administration which is best summed up by a comment made to me this Spring by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke ” what good are vast open areas in the west unless they contribute oil, gas, coal, uranium and copper to America’s energy future”.
The last time I checked these “vast open areas in the west” (your national public lands) were the largest economic driver in the west, the outdoor tourism and recreation industry, clean and respectful to the land not dangerous and dirty like oil, coal and uranium. Not to speak of the importance of protecting America’s natural heritage and endangered ecosystems.
Congressman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) chairman of the powerful House Committee for Natural Resources said to me ” the U.S. Government does not have a legal right to protect vast stretches of natural landscapes which can be put to better use by the oil, gas and mining industry on behalf of the American people”. “Well Mr Chairman I believe that the American people have spoken out loud and clear, they do not want their national parks and other national public lands destroyed for the profit of a few companies” I said back to him.
Oh I will be entering a dark abyss on this trip to DC.
The American people spoke loud and clear 101 years ago with the creation of the National Park System in 1916 and continue to do so today in demanding that the U.S. Government protect our national public lands by pressuring congress and past Presidents to create national parks, national monuments, national conservation areas, national wildlife refuges and national forests, YOUR national public lands.
An attack by the Trump Administration and congress on America’s national public lands is an attack on America itself.
Los Padres Chapter of the Sierra Club.
Sierra Club California/Nevada Wildlife Team
“Rescinding or shrinking the National Monuments under review also threatens the fast-growing outdoor recreation economy, which relies significantly on recreation access to protected public lands. These lands are not “locked up,” as the Trump administration has repeatedly declared—they are extremely productive. As you know, since you participated in the outdoor industry’s announcement of a new economic study last week, the recreation economy drives $887 billion in consumer spending every year and supports more jobs (7.6 million) than oil, natural gas and mining combined. Rescinding or shrinking the National Monuments under review would significantly impact the strength of the outdoor recreation economy and limit our ability to create and sustain jobs.”
ACTION CALL! – Call/Email your legislators!
Script: I’m from [zipcode] and I’m calling to ask [Feinstein & Harris, Brownley or Carbajal] to use any legislative means available to stop Congressional and corporate lobbyist attacks on our nation’s public lands.
and Senator Harris: DC (202) 224-3553, LA (213) 894-5000, SAC (916) 448-2787, Fresno (559) 497-5109, SF (415) 355-9041, SD (619) 239-3884 https://www.harris.senate.gov/content/contact-senator
or Rep. Salud Carbajal: (CA-24): DC (202) 225-3601, SB (805) 730-1710 SLO (805) 546-8348
ACTION CALL! – Have your friends and family call/email their legislators!
Here are the now 17 congresspeople who signed off on this national nightmare…
If you have family/friends in any of these legislators’ districts, please have them call. http://www.phoneyourrep.com
Randy Weber (R-TX)
plus Rob Bishop (R-UT)
Readings: Updated 8/29
Previous Blog Posts with update letters from Jim Hines, Sierra Club
D-Day update on our National Monuments – Thurs 8/24
Update on our National Monuments from Sierra Club’s Jim Hines – 8/22
This Week in Resistance – “Playing Chicken with Kim” Edition
This Week in Resistance – “Welcome to your Heritage. Bring a Mask”
Updates from Jim Hines, Sierra Club (National Monuments and Wolves)
On Aug. 24th, Trump will be eliminating various national monuments
Previous Blog Post from Indivisible Ventura.
Outdoor companies take a stand in the fight for Public Lands (mensjournal)
George Pyle: Nation opinions on Utah’s nation monuments (SaltLakeTribune)
Debunked: 4 Myths About America’s Parks and Public Lands (OutdoorIndustry)
Letter to Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke from Yvon Chouinard and Rose Marcario (patagonia)
Selling out public lands: Trump’s first month (wilderness.org)
Trump’s plan to put fragile national monuments in danger (wapo)
Interior Secreatry Proposes Shrinking Four nation Monuments (NYTimes)
Interior secretary recommends Trump alter at least three national monuments, including Bears Ears (wapo)
US interior chief says he won’t eliminate most protected lands (sacbee)
The Monuments Trump Doesn’t Support (slate)
Trump’s Day of doom for national monuments approaches (guardian)
Interior Zinkes guide to running a sham review (americanprogress)
The Interior Department could cost taxpayers at least $60 million by rolling back Obama rules. (wapo)
Shrinking Interior: Zinke gives up additional $75 million in revenue despite devastating budget cuts (Westernvaluesproject)