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Tell Your Representatives that Public Lands Must Remain in Public Hands

gorgeous river scene with no attribution Flathead River in NW Montana photo credit: skeeze/Pixabay


Right now, advocates for transferring Western public lands to state governments have a newfound sense of confidence as they gear up their lobbying campaigns. And why not? After the acquittal of Ammon and Ryan Bundy for their roles in the armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge and the election of Donald Trump, the organizations seeking to take our public lands and the extraction industries that fund them believe they have momentum on their side.

It’s all too clear what would happen if the lands transfer movement is successful: Clean water and air, healthy wildlife and people—all would be pushed aside for the almighty dollar. States would look to generate maximum revenue from their newly-acquired property, so grazing, logging, mining, and fossil fuel development on those lands would expand beyond their current distressing levels. At the same time oversight of these damaging industries would decline, as states lack the funding, regulations, and will to police them. And what if unfettered resource extraction on the public lands doesn’t provide the revenue that the states hoped for? Or a catastrophic fire season wipes out state land agencies’ budgets? The lands would be sold off to the highest bidder and access to public lands would be something to reminisce about.

Those of us who believe public lands are our birthright, that our public land heritage should be passed on to future generations of Americans, need to fight back. We’re a majority, but we can’t be complacent. We need to make our voices heard. Please contact your senators and representative to let them know that you adamantly oppose any attempt to take away our public lands.

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Dear [Decision Maker],

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]