Western Residents: Ask Your Senators to Sign a Letter to Sec. Haaland Urging Bold Action on Conservation

Nov 1st, 2022 Written by Travis Hammill

Action opportunity for residents of Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Montana

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) oversees 245 million acres of land largely spread across 12 western states. These lands provide real, quantifiable carbon sequestration and climate adaptation benefits, conserve scarce water resources, and serve as critical migration corridors and climate refugia for wildlife. They are, in short, the heart of the American West and their protection should be prioritized.

To this end, Senator Heinrich (D-NM) has drafted a letter to Interior Secretary Deb Haaland calling for bold action to prevent the worst impacts of climate change across the region. Western senators’ voices are particularly important in this effort.

If you live in WA, OR, CA, NV, AZ, NM, CO, or MT, please call or email your senators and urge them to sign Sen. Heinrich’s letter asking Interior Secretary Haaland to protect our treasured lands in the West.

Colt Mesa in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is a perfect candidate for wilderness study area designation. © Ray Bloxham/SUWA

As the largest land manager in the nation, the BLM has a critical role to play in helping states across the West protect and conserve more of our nation’s lands and waters. The agency has existing tools and authorities under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) that it must begin using more widely across the West to accelerate the scope and pace of conservation. Two of the most important designations under this law for protecting western wild lands are Wilderness Study Areas and Areas of Critical Environmental Concern. It’s time for the BLM to take full advantage of these tools to help address the climate and biodiversity crisis.

Click here to ask your senators to join Sen. Heinrich in pushing for bolder conservation action.

Fortunately, many states and lawmakers have made significant commitments to protecting our lands, waters, and wildlife. For example, the governors of California and New Mexico issued executive orders directing their state agencies to meet bold conservation goals, and the governors of Colorado and Nevada have issued executive orders to protect more wildlife habitat across their states. However, despite these efforts, states across the West cannot achieve their conservation goals without the BLM working alongside them.

Please contact your senators and encourage them to sign the Heinrich conservation letter today.

Thank you for taking action!