Public lands throughout the West could be more easily sold off to states under a little-known rule passed by the House in its first day back in session.
These parks, forests, refuges and other special places are OUR WILD and belong, equally, to every single American. The effort to sell them off is unacceptable.
Rep. Rob Bishop, a constant enemy of conservation and public lands, added the bad provision to a broader set of rules that was passed by the House of Representatives on its first day back in session. The amendment orders the Congressional Budget Office, which provides lawmakers with data so they can make budget decisions to pretend that public lands have no monetary value.
Absurdly, the provision asks us to act as though places that help prop up the $646 billion outdoor recreation economy contribute nothing of tangible value to the nation. It's exactly as outrageous as it sounds.
Call your representative and hold them accountable for keeping OUR WILD public.
To put this in perspective, a study released in 2016 estimated that parks and programs managed by the National Park Service alone are worth about $92 billion. That doesn't even account for the more than 560 national wildlife refuges, 150-some national forests and more than 200 sites in the Bureau of Land Management's National Conservation Lands system.
But to some members of Congress, none of that matters--these places belong on the clearance rack. This will make it easier to concoct plans that allow states to seize tracts of national public land and sell them off, because they won't need to worry about offsetting their value for budget purposes.
What you can do:
You can either use the links above or find your member of Congress at 202-224-3121 and let them know that this bad rule didn't escape your notice—and more importantly, that you will hold them accountable in the future. Demand that he or she stand up for your public lands!
Here are some ways to communicate your concerns:
- Tell your member of Congress you think public lands have tremendous value!
- Tell your member of Congress where you are from, and about the public lands you cherish.
- Challenge your member of Congress to demonstrate his or her support for our public lands by pledging to protect them from the Trump Administration and anti-conservationist lawmakers.