The House Natural Resources committee today considered a bill to undo protections for public lands in Southern Utah, a move widely seen to codify President Donald Trump’s controversial and unlawful decision to remove protections for national monuments in the state. In addition, Congress is considering precedent-setting legislation could pave the way for that to happen to protected public lands and national monuments in Washington.
The Western Values Project (WVP) previously launched a campaign to encourage Congresswoman Jaime Herrera-Beutler to oppose congressional attacks on public lands before they put lands in Washington at risk. In response to that effort, she claimed that “every action I’ve taken is to better manage and increase the public’s access to their land,” but has refused multiple requests to go on the record with her Republican colleagues to do just that.
“It’s time for Congresswoman Herrera-Beutler to put her money where her mouth is and take a stand against these irresponsible attacks on our country’s outdoor heritage,” said Chris Saeger, Executive Director of the Western Values Project. “Hollow rhetoric is not going to pay the bills when it comes time to vote on this or any other bill that guts protections for public lands. She needs to clearly say if she opposes or supports this legislation that could remove protections for public lands.”
Recent polling by the Western Values Project shows that the Congresswoman’s constituents overwhelmingly oppose lifting protections for public lands.
Last year, WVP released ads holding Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke accountable for his proposal to reduce the size of national monuments. As a result of the ads, Secretary Zinke’s job approval dropped significantly – seven points in his home state of Montana.