Whitefish, Mont. – In response to the Trump administration’s recent attacks on public lands and as the House considers multiple pieces of legislation that could put more public lands at risk, Western Values Project (WVP) announced a wave of ads calling on Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA-3), Greg Walden (OR-2), and Martha McSally (AZ-2) to reject any efforts to gut protections for public lands. The ads will run in each members’ districts over the next week, totaling more than a million dollars.
In addition to the ads, WVP is also releasing polling that found that constituents in each district are strongly opposed to proposed legislation in Congress to weaken federal protections on these lands, and the incumbent members could face major backlash if they support legislation that weakens protections for public lands.
Highlights from the polls include:
o AZ 02 – 93% important (72% very important)
o OR 02 – 88% important (63% very important)
o WA 03 – 92% important (63% very important)
o AZ 02 – 26% support/66% oppose (58% strongly oppose)
o OR 02 – 39% support/53% oppose (45% strongly oppose)
o WA 03 – 33% support/53% oppose (49% strongly oppose)
“Public lands are a cornerstone of the way of life in communities across the West. Whether you live in Arizona, Washington, or Oregon, the administration’s plan to gut protections for public lands is wildly unpopular,” said Chris Saeger, executive director of the Western Values Project. “We’re putting these members of Congress on notice: if they go against public lands and side with the administration by carving up the West in favor of special interests, they’ll have to answer to their constituents.”
Saeger continued, “This isn’t about politics or political parties. It’s about supporters of our public lands, from hunters and anglers to conservationists standing shoulder to shoulder with our leaders in Congress and protecting our public lands for future generations.”
The ads follow the Trump administration’s unprecedented move to gut protections for iconic public lands – an action that is being contested in the courts. Meanwhile, some members of Congress have proposed legislation that would further harm our public lands.
Additional background on Western Values Project:
Western Values Project is committed to making sure elected leaders put Western values first through research, public education, and by working together with small businesses, farmers, ranchers, and sportsmen and sportswomen. Earlier this year, WVP released ads holding Zinke accountable for his proposal to reduce the size of national monuments. As a result of the effort Secretary Zinke experienced a significant drop in the polls – falling seven points in his home state of Montana shortly after his recommendation to shrink national monuments was leaked.