In our fifteen years of public lands work, we've tried diligently to avoid overstatement, knowing that exaggerated reports of the sky's imminent collapse eventually just make you feel numb.
Today, we assure you we feel very comfortable urgently asking your help on behalf of public lands.
In April, the US House passed a bill called the "Sportsman's Heritage Act of 2012," a really poisonous piece of legislation that would eviscerate the protections in the 1964 Wilderness Act, our country's foremost land-protection law.
HR 4089 would give hunting, fishing, recreational shooting, and fish and wildlife management priority in Wilderness, overriding the foundational priority of protecting wilderness character.
This means that pretty much anything land managers might propose to facilitate those uses--roads, logging, dam-building--would be allowed. And it means motorized use would be okay, as long as it's in aid of these new priority uses.
Peeps, this is Wilderness we are talking about, here!
Our colleagues at Wilderness Watch have written a thorough and concise analysis of the impact this bill would have on the National Wilderness Preservation System.
A similar bill in the Senate has not made any progress, but it is feared that the House version could end up as a rider on a spending bill or as part of a catch-all public lands bill. It has to be blocked in the Senate.
Please, take a few minutes to go to your Senators' websites, and either register your comments there, or--even faster--CALL. Say that you oppose HR 4089 and S 2066.
You can also go online here to sign a petition that will be delivered to key Senators and staffers. Please pass it on.
Thank you in advance for your help--it will truly make a difference.