On January 27th, we reported that Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz had introduced a bill titled HR 621, which would open up 3.3 million acres of Federal Land across 10 states can be ‘disposed of’ and sold off to private companies. The outrange was immediate. All around social media, at protests in Montana’s Capitol and flooding the emails and answering machines of Congress, the American people stood up against the attack on Public Lands. Now, it appears like our message was victorious.
Sure, our victory might be one small battle in what looks to be a multi-year war on Public Lands, but this is still great news. Late at night on February 1st, 2017, Representative Jason Chaffetz of Utah made an announcement on his Instagram page:
(Editors note: Please continue to check his Instagram page to ensure he does not delete this image)
Hopefully, we can trust his word.
This is a great victory for lovers of Public Lands, as it shows our passion for nature is making members of Congress aware of their actions, even if just slightly. However, it is a moral one, as this does not stop any future bill being introduced. For now, Jason Chaffetz has rescinded this attack on Public Lands and we thank him for announcing he is withdrawing HR 621. However, we need to keep up the pressure. We need to understand that all levels of recreation lovers need to stick together, putting aside our smaller differences. We don’t all need to like hikers, or mountain bikers. Nor do we need to be agree with logging practices or certain types of hunting. We all need to remember that at the end of the day, we are in the same fight. We all share a love for the outdoors and are willing to scream as loud as we can for the protection of Public Lands.
Keep up the pressure by contacting your elected officials and letting them know you think Public Lands are important. Keep sharing news when you hear of a new attack on Public Lands and most importantly, keep up the fight! We can win this if we work together.
Solidarity for my brothers and sisters, the courageous protectors and warriors for our Public Lands.