Citizen activism has never been more important. Act today!
Issue: SUPPORT THE WILDFIRE DISASTER FUNDING ACT
Target: U.S. House and Senate Leadership, Senators Cory Gardner and Michael Bennet
Action: Call the offices of the House and Senate leadership and tell them you support the bipartisan Wildfire Disaster Funding Act:
House Speaker Paul Ryan: (202) 225-0600,
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi: (202) 225-4965,
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: (202) 224-2541,
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer: (202) 224-6542.
Also, thank Senators Cory Gardner and Michael Bennet for putting politics aside to do what’s right for Colorado:
Cory Gardner: (202) 224-5941 or (970) 245-9553 or (303) 391-5777.
Michael Bennet: (202) 224-5852 or (970) 241-2499.
Key messages: Tell Representatives and Senators to move forward with comprehensive wildfire funding by supporting the Wildfire Disaster Funding Act...
1) I am calling in support of the bipartisan Wildfire Disaster Funding Act. This critical bill ensures that the Forest Service can meet its obligations to protect the American people and our public lands without the fire borrowing that hamstrings the agency. Please ensure this legislation is passed by Congress
2) The bipartisan Wildfire Disaster Funding Act changes an outdated funding model for fighting wildfire. As a westerner, I know firsthand about the increased severity and frequency of wildfires. The Forest Service should have a separate funding mechanism to combat wildfires, which should be considered disasters just like floods, earthquakes, and tornadoes. I believe the Forest Service will be much better equipped to meet all its responsibilities if this bill passes through Congress.
3) In 1995, 15% of the Forest Service budget went to wildfire suppression. Today, 50% of its budget is tied down for that one purpose. As a westerner, I greatly value the Forest Service and the important work done the agency does to maintain and protect public lands. This bipartisan bill will correct the ludicrous funding model in place to fund wildfire suppression and will allow the Forest Service to meet all its important responsibilities.
Issue: PRESERVE FEDERAL OVERSIGHT OF FEDERAL LANDS
Because the Federal Lands Freedom Act of 2017 currently resides in both chambers of Congress and could be fast tracked, this action is urgent.
(H.R. 3565 in the House and S. 335 in the Senate).
Action: Contact Representative Scott Tipton and tell him not to vote for the House version - email https://tipton.house.gov/contact/email, or call (970) 241-2499 (Grand Junction Office), Alamosa P: (719) 587-5105, Durango P: (970) 259-1490.
Also, contact Senator Cory Gardner and urge him to use his seat in the Senate Committee for Energy and Natural Resources to prevent this bill from going to a vote - email https://www.gardner.senate.gov/contact-cory/email-cory (970) 245-9553 (Grand Junction Office), (303) 391-5777 (Denver), (719) 543-1324 (Pueblo).
If you have time, it would be great to call Senator Bennet, too, and let him know that you appreciate his support in fighting this legislation: (970) 241-6631 or (202) 224-5852.
Key messages: Tell Representative Tipton and Senator Gardner to keep our federal public lands FEDERAL and to protect our nationally held resources and not cede management to states.
For Rep. Tipton:
1) This message is for Representative Tipton about H.R.3565, a bill in Congress called the “Federal Lands Freedom Act”. I am strongly opposed to this bill and I urge you to vote against it.
2) This bill hands over decision-making authority on our nationally shared public lands to the states, gutting federal oversight of management and allowing states to assume federal leasing, permitting and regulatory responsibilities for oil and gas development.
3) The bill allows common-sense regulations like the Endangered Species Act and environmental review to be circumvented, fast-tracking development and extraction projects, and cutting public input out of decisions that impact their lands.
4) Oil and gas companies are currently sitting on more than 8,000 unused leases and yet won’t drill on those already-approved 14 million acres of land nationwide. This bill would leave public lands open to even more leasing, tying up huge swaths of land for development, in some states far more than others, instead of preserving it and keeping it available for every American to enjoy.
For Sen. Gardner:
1) This message is for Senator Gardner about bill S.335, the “Federal Lands Freedom Act”. I am strongly opposed to this bill and I urge you to use your seat on the Senate Committee for Energy and Natural Resources to prevent it from going to vote.
4) Your platform encourages citizens to be “good stewards of our natural environment”, a message that should extend to our elected officials. Good stewardship of our national public lands means keeping our federal public lands FEDERAL.
The Planning for American Energy Act of 2017 (H.R. 2907) was introduced in the House this June by our own Representative Scott Tipton.
Target: Representative Scott Tipton
Action: Contact Representative Scott Tipton and tell him not to vote for the House version. email: https://tipton.house.gov/contact/email or call: (970) 241-2499 (Grand Junction Office)
Key messages: Tell Representative Tipton to protect our public lands from unwarranted resource extraction at the expense of our public lands and our environment.
1) This message is for Representative Tipton about bill H.R.2907, the “Planning for American Energy Act”. Mr. Tipton, I am strongly opposed to this bill and I urge you to abandon it.
2) It prioritizes resource development and extraction on our public lands over other multiple uses such as recreation, hunting, fishing, wildlife and habitat preservation by directing the Secretary of the Interior to fast track energy production on public lands, prioritizing fossil fuel special interests over all other public lands uses and values.
3)It gives little to no consideration as to how Colorado’s $2 billion recreation industry might be affected by destructive development of such lands. Millions of people flock here every year to hunt, fish and recreate in our wild, untouched places, untainted waterways and diverse habitats.
4) Mr. Tipton, this bill unfairly places the burden of American energy production on public lands, with little regard for the expense to the land, our environment, and the American public. Please abandon H.R. 2907.
The H.R. 2661 State Mineral Revenue Protection Act of 2017 was introduced in the House by Liz Cheney, (R-WY) this September.
Target: Representative Scott Tipton
Action: Contact Representative Scott Tipton and tell him not to vote for the House version. email https://tipton.house.gov/contact/email, or call (970) 241-2499 (Grand Junction Office)
Key messages: Tell Representative Tipton to protect royalty payments from our nationally owned resources.
1) This message is for Representative Tipton about bill H.R.2661, the “State Mineral Revenue Protection Act”. Mr. Tipton, I am strongly opposed to this bill and I urge you to vote against it.
2) This bill proposes to shift millions of dollars in mineral royalties from federal to state coffers, incentivizing states to rubber stamp energy development, severely impacting clean air, clean water, healthy habitat and western states’ recreation economies
3) Our national public lands and the resources they hold belong to the United States and to every American citizen, not any one particular state. Historically, western voters have demonstrated that they agree with this notion, having rejected state and national efforts to break up and sell off their birthright of federal public lands
4) Please protect our nationally owned resources and ensure that every American has the opportunity to benefit from the bounty of our public lands. Vote against H.R. 2661.
Issue: PROTECT OUR NATIONAL FORESTS AND PUBLIC LANDS FROM EXCESSIVE LOGGING AND KEEP THE ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW PROCESS INTACT AND TRANSPARENT
Action: Contact Representative Tipton and tell him to abandon his support for the 2017 Resilient Federal Forests Act, and vote against it. email https://tipton.house.gov/contact/email or call him at (970) 241-2499 (Grand Junction Office).
Also, contact Senator Gardner and urge him not to vote for any Senate bill that may contain language from the House Bill. email https://www.gardner.senate.gov/contact-cory/email-cory or call him at (970) 245-9553 (Grand Junction Office)
Key messages: Tell Representative Tipton to protect our national forest and public lands and withdraw his co-sponsorship from bill H.R.2936, the “Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2017” and vote against it
1) I am calling to leave a message for Representative Tipton about bill H.R.2936, the “Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2017”. Please let Mr. Tipton know that I am strongly against this bill and I urge him to withdraw his co-sponsorship and vote against it.
2) If this bill becomes law, it would leave millions of acres of national forest and public lands vulnerable to excessive logging and make them susceptible to long-term and irreversible environmental impacts from projects that have not been properly assessed for their effects on the land and ecosystems.
3) This bill sets a dangerous precedent in gutting public participation in the environmental review process and makes the management of our public lands less democratic and transparent.
Key messages: Tell Cory Gardner that a bill in the Senate that includes any variation of the language from the House bill is unacceptable.
1) This message is for Senator Gardner. I am strongly against House bill H.R.2936, the “Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2017” and I urge you to vote against any bill that may arise in the Senate with similar language or intentions.
2) Any bill that strips away or weakens the NEPA review process is an assault on public lands and the public’s right to participate in a transparent process. Please protect our public lands and our public right.
Sample letter to Rep. Tipton for HR 2936:
Dear Representative Tipton,
Our national forests and public lands are a precious public resource that provide a myriad of benefits to local communities, including economic boosts from tourism, places to enjoy the outdoors, recreation, clean air and water, and protection for ecologically sensitive areas. I am deeply concerned about the bill you are currently co-sponsoring (H.R.2936, the “Resilient Federal Forests Act), which seeks to streamline logging activities in our national forests and on public lands by rolling back environmental review requirements – and I am urging you to stop supporting it.
The 1970 National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) currently protects our public lands from the detrimental and irreversible environmental effects of development and resource extraction by requiring the agencies that manage the lands to perform an environmental review and allow for public participation and comment. NEPA is the cornerstone of protection for these lands and keeps the review process democratic.
H.R.2936, a bill that you are co-sponsoring, would cut the legs out from under NEPA. It goes too far in scaling back the review process and due diligence currently required for proposed logging projects and offers far more sole decision-making power to the Forest Service and BLM than these organizations need in order to effectively manage and care for the land. The Forest Service’s own former deputy chief, Jim Furnish, stated to the Subcommittee on Federal Lands that a collaborative approach to forest management worked well for him when he oversaw the Siuslaw National Forest in Corvallis, Oregon and he argues that when the Forest Service prioritizes public involvement over timber harvesting, stakeholders are able to agree on more moderate outcomes that protect the environment, while allowing some tree harvesting to continue.
If this bill becomes law, it would leave millions of acres of national forest and public lands vulnerable to excessive logging and make them susceptible to long-term and irreversible environmental impacts from projects that have not been properly assessed for their effects on the land and ecosystems. Further, it would set a dangerous precedent in gutting public participation in the environmental review process and make the management of our public lands less democratic and transparent.
I am firmly opposed to bill H.R.2936 because I enjoy national forests and public lands. I think it’s important to keep the environmental review process intact when considering logging projects so that the Forest Service and the BLM are able to make informed and pragmatic decisions. Further, as an American citizen and beneficiary of public lands, I want to keep the management of these lands open and democratic. I strongly urge you to abandon your support for this bill, which will devastate our public lands if it becomes law.
(sign name here)