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Pillaging Our Public Lands

18 Jun 2012  |   Allison Donnelly

Tags: Public Lands

This week the House of Representatives will vote on a broad assault on America's lands and wildlife. The Conservation and Economic Growth Act, a package of fourteen bills, includes provisions that would block or roll back key conservation laws on federal lands, gut environmental review, and privatize public lands in Alaska.

A key part of the bill is the Natural Security and Federal Lands Protection Act, known as the “border bill,” which would gut environmental safeguards on public lands. It creates a 100 mile “operational zone” around our borders and waives 36 laws within them (including environmental protections such as the Endangered Species Act) and would prohibit the Department of the Interior from restricting any activity of the Border Patrol along our southern and northern borders, including constructing roads and using vehicles/aircraft.

Other egregious provisions included in this package are provisions to privatize and allow clear-cutting on large amounts of the Tongass National Forest in Alaska, cut environmental protections for livestock grazing management and exempt much of it from environmental review, roll back regulations on vehicle access on Cape Hatteras put in place to protect wildlife, and allow for the lethal removal of sea lions from the Columbia River.

The overall bill affects 36 states and is opposed by a huge coalition of groups – Latino/a organizations, sportsmen, Tribal governments, environmental groups, the Department of the Interior, and even the Department of Homeland Security.

We can’t allow this dreadful package of attacks on our public lands and wildlife. Take action now – tell your representative to oppose H.R. 2578, the Conservation and Economic Growth Act, and stop the House from selling out our public lands!

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