The “Wild Lands” policy could potentially protect places such as Lockhart Basin, pictured above. Photo by Ray Bloxham.
Those of us who care deeply about the preservation of this nation’s wilderness icons were appalled when the Interior Department’s long-awaited “Wild Lands” policy, announced only at the end of 2010, was defunded in the budget deal cut with anti-wilderness congressional representatives. The policy, which would have given magnificent BLM lands in Utah and throughout the West, a chance at the lasting protection they deserve, marked a decisive sea change from the lingering Bush administration’s “drill everywhere” approach.
The April budget deal that keeps the government funded only through this fiscal year, expires on September 30th. But the same politicians who targeted the “Wild Lands” policy are hard at work again to defund the policy through the next fiscal year, and ultimately, permanently.
You have an important chance right now to support the “Wild Lands” policy by asking your member of Congress to sign a letter to the President calling for restoration of full funding of the “Wild Lands” policy next year!
Representatives Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Gerry Connolly (D-VA) are currently circulating a sign-on letter among their colleagues in the House of Representatives urging the President to support the BLM’s “Wild Lands” policy. As the budget deal shows, leaders in the Obama administration still have to be educated about the importance of wilderness areas to all Americans. It’s up to you to make sure President Obama hears loud and clear from members of Congress how important these special places are to America’s conservation heritage.
Timing is everything – with a hearing designed to attack the policy scheduled in the House for next week, your voice is crucial now.
With your voice, we can ensure that places like the Goosenecks of the Colorado and Lockhart Basin – lands just outside of Canyonlands National Park – attain the protection they deserve. Please take action now!