Less then two days into the 115th Congress, the House of Representatives already is working to take away our public lands and dismantle historic conservation efforts.
Just yesterday, the House capped its first day with a vote to give away America’s public lands and waters, recalculating the costs of public lands transfers and easing current restrictions for shifting their oversight to individual states or private interests.
Passed largely on partly lines as part of a larger rules package, the provision would designate any transfer legislation “budget neutral,” eliminating existing safeguards against undervaluing public lands, disregarding any revenue or economic benefits currently generated and paving the way for quick and discreet giveaways of valuable lands and waters – including national forests, wildlife refuges and BLM lands – historically owned by the American people. See how your member of Congress voted and let them know how important public lands are to hunters and anglers by phone at (202) 224-3121 or by email.
Sage grouse conservation is on the chopping block as well. The House plans to advance the Regulations by the Executive In Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act later this week. Not wasting any time today, Rep. Mark Amodei of Nevada has offered an amendment to the Rules Committee that would resurrect failed attempts from the last Congress to unravel critical greater sage grouse conservation plans. This unprecedented effort – at local, state, and national levels to proactively conserve the species and prevent its listing under the Endangered Species Act – is truly innovative. The individually tailored plans serve as a new model for landscape level conservation that prioritizes state and local needs and habitat conditions. The 165 million acres of sagebrush steppe occupied by the grouse provide habitat for more than 350 species of fish and wildlife, including big-game species such as mule deer, pronghorn and elk. Healthy and functioning sage-grouse habitat fuels an outdoor-reliant economy that provides a stable source of income for communities across the West.
Contact your House members TODAY by phone at (202) 224-3121 or by email. Express your displeasure with Tuesday’s vote against our public lands – and urge them to oppose Rep. Amodei’s amendment and support the historic sage grouse conservation plans being implemented in important sagebrush habitats in the West