The House Natural Resources committee 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 reduce Bears Ears National Monument. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke recommended that the President eliminate protections for Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, and this precedent-setting legislation could pave the way for that to happen.
The Western Values Project (WVP) previously launched a campaign to encourage Congressman Greg Walden to renounce these and other congressional attacks on public lands before they put protected areas in Oregon at risk. Walden responded with vague, misleading claims that he supports public lands while failing to renounce the Trump administration’s unlawful actions that gutted protections for two million acres. Even worse, Walden has ignored the fact that he has previously called on the administration to do the same to Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in Oregon.
“Congressman Walden would prefer to offer political doublespeak rather than give his constituents straight answers on how he plans to defend public lands and where he stands on critical legislation that will impact those lands,” said Chris Saeger, Executive Director of the Western Values Project. “Congressman Walden needs to clearly state his position: does he oppose or support this legislation that would undermine protections for public lands?”
Recent polling by WVP shows that the Congressman’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.