Happy National Public Lands Day! This Saturday, thousands of volunteers will give back to the public lands we all love and need. Many members of our Friends Grassroots Network have scheduled exciting volunteer opportunities and public land celebrations. Find an organization near you by searching our Network to join the fun!
In the meantime, our September edition of CLiF Notes summarizes the latest victories and threats for National Conservation Lands.
Photo: Florian Schultz
New protections aimed at protecting the Western Arctic
This month, the Biden-Harris administration announced significant steps to protect the Arctic in Alaska, including the Western Arctic where the Conservation Lands Foundation has long engaged in its protection.
The proposed new regulations limit future oil and gas leasing for over 10 million acres and ensure maximum protection for this area that holds tremendous value for wildlife, Native communities, and the overall climate resiliency of the region. We strongly support the Biden-Harris Administration and the Interior Department taking this important step forward and encourage you to add your voice of support during the public comment period to protect the natural and cultural values of the Western Arctic.
Threats to public lands funding emerge in Congress
The annual appropriations budget process is essential to ensuring land management agencies have the resources and funding they need to care for public lands. Despite the fiscal year deadline approaching in less than two weeks, the House has repeatedly stalled this process and introduced several threats to undermine public lands. The House’s appropriations bill includes dramatic cuts to the Bureau of Land Management budget, and introduced two dangerous riders that threaten current and future public lands conservation.
Take Action: Urge your lawmakers to fund and support public lands
The House bill cuts $6 million from the National Conservation Lands system, despite more than 2 million acres added in the past two years. The proposal also includes two dangerous riders that would hinder the Public Lands Rule from being implemented and require the BLM to manage the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah in accordance with the plan finalized after former President Trump reduced the monument.
If Congress does not resolve its differences, it could lead to a government shutdown. We are working to make sure Congress hears from public land supporters and approves appropriate funding for the Bureau of Land Management’s stewardship of public lands, waters, cultural resources, and wildlife habitat. If you have not already used our tool to email your lawmakers for funding support for the BLM, please take a moment now.
Photo: West Cliff Creative
Invest in conservation
Make a difference for public lands this National Public Lands Day by making a donation to the Conservation Lands Foundation. Your generous giving fuels a national movement to turn local passion into acres protected and defend those protections from ongoing attacks like the riders we’re currently fighting in Congress.
Photo: West Cliff Creative
A Blueprint for 21st Century Outdoor Recreation
The Bureau of Land Management recently released a new plan to guide the agency in proactively meeting modern demands and future needs of recreation on lands it manages. The “Blueprint for 21st Century Outdoor Recreation” features our Respect. Connect. Protect. campaign as a “Partnership Success Story” and outlines how this multi-year social media campaign supports enthusiastic, respectful, and safe visits on National Conservation Lands.
We commend the agency for shifting its priorities from reactive recreation management to a more proactive approach and offering a new path forward that promotes equitable access to outdoor recreation opportunities. The public can weigh in on the new Blueprint by emailing [email protected] by September 30, 2023.
National Conservation Lands trivia
Think you're a trivia whiz? Like to win prizes? Then put your conservation knowledge to the test with us. For the next several weeks, we’re hosting Trivia Tuesday on our Instagram page where we’ll test your knowledge of everything National Conservation Lands. Each person who answers correctly will be entered to win outdoor gear prizes like an Osprey pack. Follow us on Instagram to play along!
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