House Committee to Hold Hearing on Public Lands Initiative — Now Is the Time to Act!

Sep 9th, 2016 Written by suwa

Here comes trouble. Congress is back from recess and Representatives Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz are resuming their legislative push to advance the long anticipated, immensely destructive Utah Public Lands Initiative (PLI).

Now is the time to act! Urge your member of Congress to oppose the PLI!

The PLI is without question the worst “wilderness bill” to come out since the adoption of the Wilderness Act of 1964. It contains a laundry list of provisions that would roll back existing protections on over 100,000 acres of BLM wilderness study areas and 70,000 acres of BLM natural areas (managed to protect wilderness values), transfer federal public land to the state of Utah, shift control of energy development permitting in Utah from the federal government to the state, and permanently establish grazing and motorized uses in sensitive areas.

Write your representative and tell them the PLI is a major threat to Utah wilderness!

The PLI rolls back protections for existing Wilderness Study Areas like Winter Ridge, pictured here. Photo copyright Ray Bloxham/SUWA

With so few days left in this Congress, the likelihood of the PLI passing is very slim, yet the Utah delegation continues to use the legislation as a tool to prevent the designation of a Bears Ears National Monument. As Chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources, Bishop plans on holding a legislative hearing on the PLI on September 14.

Only 39 percent of the conservation community’s proposed wilderness is protected in the PLI—hardly an offset for the bill’s parade of horribles. Worse, the bill has a net loss of 100,000 acres of currently-protected BLM lands from the status quo because it releases several wilderness study areas.

Contact your member of Congress and tell them that the PLI is a pro-extraction, pro-development fraud!

SUWA is working diligently with our allies in Congress to expose the PLI for what it truly is: an egregious public lands giveaway. We’ve briefed our champions on the ins and outs of the PLI well in advance of the impending hearing and we’re conducting a hill drop of sweepstakes checks from “The Public Lands Clearing House” to alert the remaining members about the 2,760,000 acres of wilderness-quality lands imperiled by the legislation.

PLI Sweepstakes Check
SUWA’s Travis Hammill and Jordan Giaconia display the front and back of the “Public Lands Clearing House” sweepstakes check we delivered to members of Congress this week.

While our efforts have already started to bear fruit, we still need your help to crush this dastardly bill once and for all.

Click here to tell your congressional representative that the PLI is a far cry from a conservation bill and poses a critical threat to Utah’s invaluable wilderness!