Everything you should know about the public land heist.
Public lands belong to everyone. Right now, across the country (and even more specifically in the West), a battle is looming over the sale of various parcels of America’s public lands. This will put millions of acres, and their recreational opportunities, under siege. Here’s what you should know…
Some polititans are currently in favor of selling off public lands to generate profits for state governments and/or private entities. If they win, some state governments could privatize, develop, sell, or auction off these lands to the highest bidder.
Unfortunately, the idea of selling off public lands is gaining momentum. In Congress, a symbolic amendment supporting the sale of public lands passed this spring. These bills challenge the foundation that underpins National Parks, National Forests, and public access to wild places. If this cause is of interest to you, it’s time to speak up.
In Colorado, transfer legislation threatens 83 river runs, 1784 climbing areas, and 4425 miles of mountain biking trails. Here are a few places under threat: San Juan Mountains, Specie Creek to Norwood Bridge, Conoco Station to Bilk Creek, the Gunnison, Uncompahgre National Forest, the Colorado River, and so much more. In Utah, transfer legislation threatens 29 river runs, 1055 climbing areas, and over 1250 miles of mountain biking trails. Here are a few places under threat: Castleton Tower, the Whole Enchilada, Porcupine Rim, Indian Creek, Fisher Towers, the San Juan River, and so much more. Do you recreate in Bears Ears? Learn more about protecting Bears Ears here: http://bearsears.patagonia.com.
Here are some things you can do to make a difference:
- Call Your Congressional Representatives (see outreach list below): https://www.accessfund.org/take-action/campaigns/call-your-congressional-representatives
- Use social media to reach out to your Congressional reps (see outreach list below): http://www.outdooralliance.org/blog/2015/11/12/why-slacktivism-matters
- Sign Outdoor Alliance’s Petition: http://www.protectourpublicland.org/#petition-section (This petition is the first step to show policymakers that voters support our public lands.)
Want to learn more?
- What has Congress passed? Read more here: http://www.protectourpublicland.org/public-lands-at-risk
- What’s at risk in Colorado? http://www.protectourpublicland.org/colorado
- What’s at risk in Utah? http://www.protectourpublicland.org/utah
- 7 differences between state and public lands: http://www.protectourpublicland.org/news-collection/2015/7/28/7-differences-between-state-lands-and-public-lands
Want to contact Colorado’s congressional delegates to make your voice heard about what’s happening in Washington? Here’s How:
U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet
Bennet’s office says the most efficient way to reach out to his office is by filling out a short form on the senator’s website, which can be visited at https://www.bennet.senate.gov/?p=help_with_the_government. Constituents who prefer to talk to someone immediately can call 303-455-7600, though Bennet’s office warns that when its lines are full, it will be necessary to leave a voicemail. Bennet’s Twitter account can be visited at https://twitter.com/SenBennetCO and his Facebook account at https://www.facebook.com/BennetForColorado/.
U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner
A list of phone numbers for Cory Gardner’s staff members and his nine offices, as well as an option to send him an e-mail, is available at https://www.gardner.senate.gov/. Gardner’s Twitter account can be visited at https://twitter.com/SenCoryGardner and his Facebook account at https://www.facebook.com/SenCoryGardner/.
U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, D-Boulder
To contact Polis, you can e-mail him at Jared.Polis@mail.house.gov or call his Washington office at 202-225-2161. You can also reach his staffers by calling his Boulder office at 303-484-9596, or his Fort Collins office at 970-226-1239. Polis’ Twitter account can be visited at https://twitter.com/jaredpolis and his Facebook account at https://www.facebook.com/jaredpolis/.
U.S. Rep. Ken Buck, R-Greeley
Buck’s office in Washington can be reached by calling 202-225-4676. Constituents can also visit the congressman’s website at buck.house.govto send him an e-mail. Buck’s Twitter account can be visited at https://twitter.com/RepKenBuck and his Facebook account at https://www.facebook.com/repkenbuck/.
U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Jefferson County
To contact Perlmutter, his office encourages constituents to contact his office by visiting https://perlmutter.house.gov/forms/writeyourrep/ or calling his district office in Lakewood at 303-274-7944. Perlmutter’s Twitter account can be visited at https://twitter.com/RepPerlmutter and his Facebook account at https://www.facebook.com/RepPerlmutter/.
U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Cortez
Congressman Tipton can be reached through his website, www.tipton.house.gov/contact-me, or by calling 202-225-4761. Tipton’s Twitter account can be visited at https://twitter.com/RepTipton and his Facebook account at https://www.facebook.com/CongressmanScottTipton.
U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Aurora
Coffman has a dedicated webpage for constituents seeking to reach out to his office, which can be visited at https://coffmanforms.house.gov/contact/. The page allows users to send an e-mail or request a meeting. Reach Coffman’s Washington office at 202-225-7882 or his Aurora office at 720-748-7514. Coffman’s Twitter account can be visited at https://twitter.com/RepMikeCoffman and his Facebook account at https://www.facebook.com/repmikecoffman/.
U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colorado Springs
Lamborn’s website has a dedicated webpage for those seeking to get in touch, which includes phone numbers for his offices in Washington, Colorado Springs and Buena Vista. It can be visited at: http://lamborn.house.gov/contact/. To request a meeting with Lamborn or a staffer, constituents can call his Colorado Springs office at 719-520-0055. Lamborn’s Twitter account can be visited at https://twitter.com/RepDLamborn and his Facebook account at https://www.facebook.com/CongressmanDougLamborn/.
U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Denver
DeGette’s Denver office can be reached at 303-844-4988. Her website — https://degette.house.gov/contact — also provides ways to send her an e-mail or request a meeting. DeGette’s Twitter account can be visited at https://twitter.com/RepDianaDeGette and her Facebook account at https://www.facebook.com/DianaDeGette/.
Here is a link to information on how to contact Utah lawmakers: https://www.utah.gov/government/contactgov.html