Over the past year, the Trump Administration, along with Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke and now many in Congress, have made it clear that their top priority for America’s public lands is to use them for extractive activities and energy development. This focus comes despite the requirement that public lands be managed for multiple uses including camping, mountain biking, hunting, and fishing, as well as preserving our lands and wildlife for future generations to enjoy. This focus on energy development not only disregards common sense environmental safeguards, but also puts at risk the $887 billion outdoor recreation economy that bolsters the viability of our mountain communities.
Public lands are legally obligated to be managed under a multiple use mandate that highlights a balance of uses between recreation, energy development, conservation, and cultural uses. However, current management practices have led to large swaths of national public lands being tied up by oil and gas companies, thus limiting the use of these lands by American taxpayers.