Dear State and National Decision Makers,
Our public lands and waters are the defining feature of our American landscape and belong equally to every citizen in our country, making us the envy of the world. Hunters and anglers from all walks of life have the same opportunity to cast a fly, harvest a deer or simply enjoy the solitude of the backcountry, far removed from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Despite widespread support for conserving our public lands, forces are at work to dismantle this legacy and erode our outdoor traditions. Special interest funding and individuals who work on the fringes of popular opinion are promoting efforts that would favor private financial gain or barter our public lands heritage for political favor. As businesses that cater to sportsmen and women, we simply cannot afford to lose our public lands. Collectively, our customers contribute more than $646 billion in consumer spending annually, and our industry supports 6.1 million direct jobs. This sustainable economic engine relies on the integrity of our public lands, waters, wildlife and natural resources.
As access to private lands declines and farms and ranches are converted to strip malls and subdivisions, more and more hunters and anglers look to public lands to provide access to hunting and fishing. Together, we rely on the foresight of conservation giants like Theodore Roosevelt, George Bird Grinnell and Gifford Pinchot. These sportsmen leaders had the vision to secure our public lands legacy more than a century ago, and our recreation economy is one of the leading financial sectors in this country because of it.
Whether it’s hidden elk wallows deep in our national forests, remote mountain trout streams or waterfowl nesting grounds on national wildlife refuges, outdoor businesses, like hunters and anglers, know that our public lands are inextricably linked to access and opportunity and provide the clean waters and open country on which our fish and wildlife depend. Please stand with American businesses to strengthen our economy and defend our sporting traditions by opposing any proposals that facilitate the sale or transfer of our federal public lands.