On the Couch today we're signal-boosting Patagonia's call to protect public lands. In an illegal move, 45 just reduced the size of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments. This is the largest elimination of protected land in American history.
- Bears Ears National Monument: The highest density of cultural resources in the country is now at risk
- Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument: An area bigger than Yosemite National Park is now at risk of industrialization
There is Broad Public Support for Protecting Federal Public Lands
- Over 2.7 million public comments poured in during the Department of the Interior’s 60-day comment period—a record-breaking response. More than 98 percent of those comments expressed support for maintaining or expanding national monuments.
States Have Historically Sold Off Federal Lands
- History shows that when the federal government grants, sells or otherwise gifts federal land to states, 70% of the land is sold to private interests, jeopardizing public access.
- States have different rules for land management, and private lands are often not accessible to the general public, meaning the transfer of federal lands to private hands could impact outdoor activity and access.
It is a Myth that More Public Lands are Needed for Oil and Gas Development
- 90% of U.S. public lands are open to oil and gas leasing and development; only 10 percent are protected for recreation, conservation and wildlife.
- Over 7,500 approved drilling permits on federal land are undrilled and idled.
- In 2015, oil companies produced 175 million barrels of crude oil from federal lands, up 60% from 2008.
Join Patagonia in defending public land.
If you're doing holiday shopping, consider making a donation or sending support to one of these groups fighting to protect public lands for the outdoorsy people on your list:
- Grand Staircase Escalante Partners
- Soda Mountain Wilderness Council
- Friends of Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument
- Friends of Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks
- Friends of Basin and Range
- Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters
- Friends of Cedar Mesa
- Utah Diné Bikéyah
- Friends of Gold Butte
- Alaska Wilderness League
- Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness
- Wild Salmon Center
- Salmon State Initiative
- Conservation Lands Foundation
- Grand Canyon Trust