The armed occupation of Oregon’s Malheur Wildlife Refuge led by Ammon Bundy earlier this year shocked and horrified many, but for those of us fighting to protect Utah’s wild places it came as no surprise.
Here in the Beehive State, politicians of the Bundy persuasion have denounced federal ownership of America’s public lands for generations, helping spawn a movement that High Country News called “a nationwide confluence of right-wing and libertarian extremists” intent on stealing our public lands heritage.
Now, their allies in Congress have introduced several bills aimed at doing just that.
Tell your representatives in Congress to block all legislative land grab attempts and keep public lands in public hands!
From illegal ATV rides led by county commissioners protesting federal protections, to Utah’s efforts to seize federal public lands outright, our state is often at the center of the land grab hysteria — and that’s bad news for those of us who treasure Utah’s spectacular wild landscapes.
Utah politicians claim that the state would do a better job of managing public lands. That’s nonsense: the state’s record on environmental issues is abysmal. And since the U.S. spends roughly $350 million annually to manage public lands in Utah, the state would be forced to either raise taxes or start selling off the public estate to pay the bills. Our bet is on the latter.
Don’t let this happen in Utah or anywhere else. Write your members of Congress today and ask them to oppose all Bundy-style bills that seek to give away YOUR public lands.
As land grab fever spreads like a western wildfire from state to state and into the halls of Congress, now is the time to tell your elected officials that our nation’s public lands rightfully belong to all Americans, not state or local governments and select private interests.