America’s public lands, some of our most iconic places, are under attack.
Trump and many in Congress are trying to open the door of public lands to more polluters and others who would destroy them for profit — robbing us and future generations of these vital places.
Since January more than 70 bills have been introduced in Congress to seize, dismantle, destroy or privatize America’s public lands. Trump is making it worse: One of his first acts as president was a “review” of 27 national monuments — covering nearly 1 billion acres of public lands and oceans — aimed at opening these treasured landscapes for oil and gas drilling, mining, logging and other kinds of destructive uses.
We’re fighting back. Stand for Lands is a nationwide grassroots initiative, organized by the Center’s Ignite Change campaign, to protect America’s public lands.
Here’s why: The American people, together, own more than 600 million acres of beloved forests, deserts, rivers and other landscapes that provide clean air, clean water, lifesaving refuges for wildlife and endless opportunities for solace and recreation for people.
From coast to coast, these are irreplaceable lands home to our native roots, protecting some of our most important wildlife and natural wonders, and carrying the wisdom of those who came before us and recognized some lands are best left unspoiled.
Here are five questions and answers about Stand for Lands.
The Center’s multipronged campaign combines litigation, political expertise, media savvy, mobilization and grassroots organizing. By applying strategic, grassroots pressure on Congress and other decision-makers — and fighting in court — we can form a strong line of protection for our public lands.
For Ignite Change that will mean securing congressional pledges to safeguard public lands and the laws that protect them, raising the visibility of the vast public support for these places, and galvanizing diverse constituencies in a united front.
Yes — but we have to band together now. Corporate polluters and their allies are emboldened by Trump’s election and the Republican tilt in Congress. They’re moving quickly to take advantage and we need be there to meet them head on now. The stakes are high: If we don’t make a stand rapidly, these lands and all the intrinsic value they’ve held for thousands of years will be irreparably harmed, and future generations will never forgive us for letting them slip away.
The most immediate threat is what’s happening with national monuments on public lands designated by past presidents to place a higher level of protection on these iconic places. Zinke’s secret memo of his recommendations to Trump to strip protections from 10 national monuments was leaked to the press. These rollbacks would allow these iconic, once protected places to be opened up for mining, livestock grazing, oil drilling, and fracking. Trump hasn’t made his announcement yet, but we can bet it won’t be good.
No. In the coming months, we know congressional attacks on our public lands will intensify. We’re organizing a multifaceted campaign to lock down sufficient support to block damaging legislation.
Make sure you’re signed up for Ignite Change. We’ll help connect you to others in your community so that we can pool our grassroots power and mount the strongest fight possible to save our public lands.
Contact Ignite@biologicaldiversity.org for more information.