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Blog

Our favorite stories about public lands and opportunities for you to get involved in protecting your outdoor experiences.

 

One Secret to Keeping Public Lands Great...

Tania Lown-Hecht

Photo credit: Flickr, NPS/Andrew Pringle

Photo credit: Flickr, NPS/Andrew Pringle

Protecting public lands is at the forefront of Outdoor Alliance’s work. One important lesson we’ve learned is that a key ingredient to keeping public lands public and accessible to recreation is making sure that public lands have great management from the public land agencies, which includes solid funding.

The White House is currently collecting comments about how to “reform” or “eliminate” crucial agencies. Public input from people who rely on public land management agencies is important for protecting the future of our public lands.

Congressional budget cuts have already left public land management agencies without adequate staff and funding to do things like trail work, control of invasive species, facilities maintenance, planning, firefighting, research, and data collection. In general, land management agencies don’t fail to maintain trails or clean outhouses because they don’t care or don’t want to, but because they have fewer staff and resources each year to carry out essential services. Three recent executive orders threaten to exacerbate those issues.

Outdoor Alliance recently responded to these executive orders; you can read our full letter by clicking here or on the letter at right.

Executive order 13781 is one of a handful of executive orders President Trump has issued that aim to shrink federal agencies to a damaging degree. Public land management agencies are some of the government branches with the best return on investment. However, this economic impact relies on well-funded, well-staffed, and well-managed public lands. The current push to downsize already-strained agencies threatens to damage our public lands and the locals who work for land management agencies across the country.

Public lands rely on solid funding, transparent public processes, and good public land management. The White House has a 28 day comment period, ending June 12, collecting comments on how agencies should be reorganized or “eliminated.” Our federal agencies are hugely important. There is no defense of public lands without defense of the people and organizations that manage them. Without the Forest Service, the Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and Fish and Wildlife Service, public lands don’t have stewards.

To stand up for public lands and land management agencies, you can leave a comment on the White House comment form here.