Secretary Bernhardt
Department of Interior
1849 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20240


Dear Secretary Bernhardt:

America’s national public lands are the envy of the world. They preserve our history, provide clean water and habitat for wildlife, and drive an $887 billion outdoor recreation industry. They also represent democracy in action in that they are owned by all Americans--regardless of socioeconomic status--and they are to be managed by government agencies, including the Department of Interior, in accordance with the wishes of the American public.

The roughly 70,000 employees of the U.S. Department of the Interior serve as the individual stewards of these places and they are walking symbols of the American ideals of justice and equality.

That’s why we, the undersigned, unreservedly oppose the Department’s recent decision to remove workplace protections for LGBTQ employees from its Ethics Guide against workplace discrimination. We view it as a hostile action that undermines the very framework of public lands management. This action cannot be allowed to stand.

This intentional omission leaves the Department’s LGBTQ employees exposed to workplace hostility and discrimination, including those who every day tell the story of the Park Service’s own Stonewall National Monument in New York--a monument designated to memorialize the birthplace of the gay civil rights movement, and the progress toward justice that has been made as a result.

The Department’s action will have a chilling effect on LGBTQ people applying for jobs at DOI--and it betrays current Interior Department employees--undermining DOI’s ability to fulfill its mission to be effective stewards of America’s incomparable public lands.

We represent 80 conservation organizations and businesses--along with thousands of members and customers. We are committed to equality for all people in the use, management, and stewardship of America’s public lands. We ask Interior Secretary David Bernhardt to immediately restore protections for LGBTQ employees.

Sincerely, 

Advocates for the West
Amargosa Conservancy
American Whitewater
Binghamton University
Birds of Prey NCA Partnership
California Wilderness Coalition
Californians for Western Wilderness
Carrizo Plain Conservancy
Center for Biological Diversity
City of Bloomington Indiana Parks and Recreation 
Colorado Mountain Club/Backcountry Sports Initiative
Conejos Clean Water
Conservation Lands Foundation
Conserve Southwest Utah
Continental Divide Trail Coalition
Defenders of Wildlife 
Dolores River Boating Advocates
Eastern Sierra Conservation Corps
El Sendero Backcountry Ski and Snowshoe Club
Friends of Big Morongo Canyon Preserve 
Friends of Gold Butte
Friends of Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks
Friends of Plumas Wilderness
Friends of Sloan Canyon
Friends of the Earth U.S.
Friends of the Inyo
Friends of the Routt
Friends of the Yampa
Get Outdoors Nevada
Grand Staircase Escalante Partners 
Granite Backcountry Alliance
Great Old Broads for Wilderness
Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont
GreenLatinos
Hispanic Access Foundation
Indiana University Program in Outdoor Recreation, Parks, and Human Ecology
International Mountain Bicycling Association
Lamella LLC
Laramie Maxwell Environmental LLC
little ninja goes places photography and adventure
Lost Coast Interpretive Association
Montana Backcountry Alliance
Montana Wilderness Association
Mount Rainier Institute-University of Washington
MTB Missoula
National Audubon Society
National Parks Conservation Association
National Wildlife Federation
Natural Resources Defense Council
Nevada Conservation League
Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association
North Cascades Conservation Council
North Cascades Institute
Northern Alaska Environmental Center 
Northwestern University
Nuestra Tierra
Outdoor Advocacy Project
Outdoor Alliance
Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association
Rocky Mountain Wild
San Juan Citizens Alliance
Seirus Innovative Accessories
Sierra Club
Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group
Soda Mountain Wilderness Council
Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance 
The American Alpine Club
The Mountaineers
The Walton Works
The Wilderness Society
Trustees for Alaska
Tuleyome
University of California, Davis
U.S. Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association
Utah Diné Bikéyah
Walking Mountains Science Center
Wasatch Backcountry Alliance
Western Slope Conservation Center
Western Watersheds Project
Wilderness Workshop
Winter Wildlands Alliance

 

Click here to go to our individual sign-on letter, and tell Secretary Bernhardt to restore LGBTQ protections!