America's national forests: another administration gift to oil, gas and mining

Nov 1, 2017
Michael Matti, flickr

Responding to the Trump Administration’s direction to promote ‘energy dominance’ on public lands, the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued its final report today that puts at risk some of America’s most loved destinations that are simply too wild to drill.

The report calls for lifting the ban on uranium mining on national forest lands around Grand Canyon National Park, which would destroy crucial wildlife habitat, devastate the tourism-based economy and put drinking water for regional tribes and wildlife at grave risk. The Grand Canyon watershed contributes drinking water for 25 million people. The recommendation is one of 15 others that affect national forests across America.

The Wilderness Society issued the following statement from Vera Smith, Forest Planning and Policy Director:

“The holidays have come early and often for the oil, gas and mining industry since Donald Trump took office. The Forest Service’s recommendations will turn iconic places like the Grand Canyon into industrial zones and put drinking water at risk for 66 million people across the country.

“People flock to public lands like national forests to watch wildlife, raft clean rivers, hunt and fish, or camp beneath the stars. Today’s report ignores the $887 billion that outdoor activities contribute to this nation’s economy so the Trump Administration can check off the wish list of its fossil fuel allies. We won’t stand for it, and neither should the American people.”

Additional resources:

“Too Wild to Drill” Report of 15 Irreplaceable Wild Lands at Risk for Drilling and Mining

USFS map showing overlap between oil and gas resources and national forests: https://www.fs.fed.us/sites/default/files/oil-and-gas-map-for-final-report.pdf

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Contacts:

Vera Smith, Forest Planning and Policy Director: 303-650-5942; vera_smith@tws.org

Kate Mackay, Director - Wildlands Communications
602-571-2603