Show support for public lands on October 12 in Wenatchee
Conservation Northwest / Oct 11, 2016 / Public Lands
WILD NW Action Alert #265: Representatives need to hear loud and clear that Washingtonians support keeping America’s national parks, forests, wildlife refuges and other public land in public hands!
Congressman Dan Newhouse (R-WA) and long-time public land grab advocate and House Natural Resources Committee Chairman congressman Rob Bishop (R-UT) are hosting a forum on public lands tomorrow, Wednesday October 12 in Wenatchee.
Please join conservationists from across Eastern Washington by attending this event and speaking up about your support for America’s public lands!
Both lawmakers hosting tomorrow’s event have voted for measures to advance “transfers” of public lands owned by all Americans. This puts our national parks, forests, wildlife refuges and other wild places at risk of being sold off, opened for risky natural resource extraction and development, or closed to the public.
To protect our public lands and preserve our natural heritage for future generations, it’s critical that we stand strong against these short-sighted measures and those who advance them.
If you live in north-central Washington, or you’re willing to travel to Wenatchee tomorrow to speak up for keeping public lands in public hands, get the details on this event and suggested talking points below!
Learn more about this important issue at www.conservationnw.org/publiclands
WHEN: Wednesday October 12th 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. PT
WHERE: Executive Flight Hangar, Pangborn memorial airport, 1 Campbell parkway East Wenatchee, Washington
RSVP REQUIRED: RSVP with Rep. Newhouse’s staffer Jamie Danielsjamie.firstname.lastname@example.org or 509-452-3243
Suggested talking points on protecting public lands:
- Bi-partisan polling has consistently shown broad public support for federal ownership of public lands. Americans, and Washingtonians, strongly support keeping America’s public lands in public hands (reference).
- America’s public lands not only protect our history, wildlife habitat, and natural beauty, but draw visitors from across the country and around the world. More than 305 million people visited national parks last year and even more hiked, camped, fished, watched wildlife and enjoyed our other shared public lands like national forests and wildlife refuges. These places are vital to millions of small businesses in nearby communities, and are an important part of our nation’s economy.
- Studies have shown that rural counties in the West with the most federal lands did better economically than other counties. Those counties saw faster growth in population, employment, personal income, and per capital income growth. Extremist propaganda may try to make rural residents believe otherwise, but public lands are undeniably good for surrounding communities and economies (reference).
- Nationally, the outdoor recreation industry generates at least 6.1 million jobs a year, and $646 billion in consumer spending nationwide (reference). In Washington state nearly 200,000 jobs are supported directly or indirectly by outdoor recreation, more than our state’s technology or aerospace industries (reference). This significant economic activity depends on protected and accessible public lands.
- Public lands provide opportunities for people of all means and backgrounds to hike, ski, camp, fish, hunt, watch wildlife and much more, and without this public access these opportunities would be relegated to private, wealthy interests. We have a responsibility to protect that legacy and preserve our public lands and outdoor heritage for future generations.
- States do not have the funding to manage American public lands operated by the federal government. The costs of wildfire response alone would overrun most state agencies (wildfire costs reference, economic costs reference). Numerous studies have shown that proposals to “transfer” these public lands to states or counties not only have no legal merit (reference), but if enacted would also quickly lead to selling public lands off to big natural resource extraction corporations and the very wealthy.
- Thank you congressmen for hosting this forum and giving the important issues of public lands access, maintenance and management the attention they deserve. But please recognize that Washingtonians stand strongly in support of protecting America’s public lands and keeping them in public hands. Please change course and end your efforts to transfer, privatize or otherwise undermine America’s public lands.