The Mountain Pact strives to keep our constituents informed on federal public lands, climate, and conservation policies that are relevant to rural mountain communities. Below is a compilation of news alerts, policy and campaign updates. You can subscribe to receive these alerts by clicking 'subscribe' under 'who we are.'

 
 
 
 November 8th, 2018

November 8th, 2018

December BLM Oil and Gas Lease Sale Updates

On September 21, 2018, a federal judge ruled that the
public must have more say in oil and gas lease sales. Chief
U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald E. Bush of the District of Idaho
issued a decision that the Bureau of Land Management
(BLM) cannot lawfully circumvent the public input requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA). 


 October 29, 2018

October 29, 2018

BLM Needs to Hear from you on the Bears Ears National Monument Draft Management Plan

On August 17, 2018, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) opened up a 90-day public comment period regarding the draft management plan for Bears Ears National Monument in Utah. The November 15 comment deadline is quickly approaching, and it is important that the BLM hears from the public.


 October 17th, 2018

October 17th, 2018

ACT NOW: October 26th Comment Deadline for Proposed EPA CAFE Standards

In August 2018, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for mileage year 2021-2026 passenger vehicles and light trucks. The proposed rule would freeze fuel economy standards at 2020 levels rather than having the standards become more stringent as was defined under the original rule which would have worked to address climate change by significantly reducing vehicle emissions.


 October 1st, 2018

October 1st, 2018

Congressional Inaction Allows 50 Year Old Conservation Program to Expire

Tomorrow, Tuesday October 2, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources (SENR) Committee is scheduled to mark up a bipartisan bill that would permanently reauthorize America's most successful conservation and recreation program, the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).


 September 25th, 2018

September 25th, 2018

New BLM Methane Rule Reverses 2016 Methane Water Prevention Rule and Environmental Safeguards

On September 18, 2018 the Department of Interior (DOI) announced that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) had finalized their new Methane Waste Prevention Rule, reversing all pollution prevention measures that had been laid out in the 2016 Obama era Methane Waste Prevention Rule.


 August 31st, 2018

August 31st, 2018

Royalty Policy Committee to Discuss Energy on Public Lands

On September 13, 2018, The Royalty Policy Committee (RPC or Committee) will be meeting for the fourth time since it was established by Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke in April 2017. The meeting will be held in Denver, CO and the Committee will be discussing how resources produced on public lands are valued.


 August 8, 2018

August 8, 2018

Save LWCF: Why Congress Must Act

The bipartisan Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) is one of
America's most successful conservation programs. However, in
just over a month it is set to expire unless Congress acts to reauthorize it.


 June 18, 2018

June 18, 2018

Funding for Conservation and the Nat'l Park Service Maintenance Backlog

The National Park Service (NPS) currently has a nearly $12 billion
deferred maintenance backlog that has built up due to years of
inadequate funding to fix maintenance needs. It will only get worse unless Congress can agree on a way to provide funding to address these needs.


 May 17, 2018

May 17, 2018

Fully fund and permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund

The bipartisan Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) is one of
our most successful conservation programs. By drawing funds from
offshore oil and gas royalties, not taxpayers, the LWCF funds projects to expand, develop, and improve public lands for recreational areas, conservation, and the preservation
of natural ecosystems.


 May 1, 2018

May 1, 2018

The Mountain Pact Brings Mountain Community Voices to Washington, D.C.

In April, 2018, The Mountain Pact went to Washington D.C. to meet with Western Senators and Representatives, the USDA/Forest Service and Department of Interior leadership to discuss the importance of balanced public lands management to the economic and cultural well-being of our mountain communities.


 April 4, 2018

April 4, 2018

Reduced Bears Ears and Grand Staircase- Escalante National Monuments Management Plans 

On December 4, 2017, President Trump traveled to Utah to proclaim that he would cut Bears Ears National Monument by 85 percent and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument by nearly half - the largest reductions to federal public land protections in history. 


 March 28, 2018

March 28, 2018

BLM Methane Waste Rule

In 2016 the Obama Administration's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) finalized the Methane Waste Prevention Rule that would regulate methane leaking and flaring from natural gas wells on BLM managed public lands. Now, the Trump Administration has been working to eliminate this rule.


 March 23,2018

March 23,2018

Fire Funding Fix Passes in 2018 Omnibus Spending Bill 

The Mountain Pact is excited to share that Congress has added new directives to how the federal government budgets for the suppression of large wildfires in the FY 2018 omnibus spending bill which President Trump signed today, Friday, March 23, 2018. 


 March 1, 2018

March 1, 2018

The Case For Balanced Public Lands Use: One Year Into the Trump Administration's Energy Dominance Agenda

On Secretary Zinke's one year in office, The Mountain Pact released a report detailing the Administration's continued attacks on public lands and how this is impacting mountain communities. This report discusses the need for updated royalty and leasing rules on public lands to account for multiple uses such as conservation and outdoor recreation that support mountain town economies. Accompanying this report is an op-ed from the new Mountain Pact Executive Director Anna Peterson calling for balanced management of public lands that factors in the voices of mountain communities.


 February 20th, 2018

February 20th, 2018

Outdoor Industry Valued at Two Percent of Overall U.S. Economy 

In February 14, 2018 the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released a prototype report detailing the contribution of the outdoor recreation industry to the overall United States Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This report has been nearly two years in the making since the passage of the Outdoor REC (Recreation Jobs and Economic Impact) Act in 2016 and in 2017 The Mountain Pact led a large effort to ensure that this report was completed in a timely manner so that these official numbers could be used to further support mountain communities. 


 February 2nd, 2018

February 2nd, 2018

The Mountain Pact Welcomes Our New ED

Originally from Minnesota, Anna has lived in many of the West's mountain towns including Bend, OR, Missoula, MT, and most recently in her current home of ten years - Durango, CO. 


 December 17th, 2017

December 17th, 2017

President Trump Slashes Protections in Utah: What This Means for Your Mountain Town

On December 4, 2017, President Trump traveled to Utah to announce that he would cut Bears Ears National Monument by 85% and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument by half--the largest reductions to federal land protections in history.


 December 7th, 2017

December 7th, 2017

Greenhouse Gas Reduction Toolkit

The City of Aspen recently released a helpful resource for mountain towns: The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Toolkit - How to Take Action in Your Community. It's a comprehensive guide to help communities develop climate action plans that fit their unique conditions. 


 November 11th, 2017

November 11th, 2017

DOI Secretarial Order Will Streamline Development on Public Lands

The Department of Interior (DOI) recently issued an order to help streamline infrastructure projects, allowing for increased industry development on public lands.


 October 31st, 2017

October 31st, 2017

America's Most Popular National Parks May See Large Fee Increase

National public lands are an integral part of the fabric of western communities and a major driver of local economies. Yet the Trump Administration recently released a proposal to significantly increase the entrance fees on some of our most visited national parks, a move that would leave many Americans without access. 


 October 18th, 2017

October 18th, 2017

New Bill Threathens America's Public Lands System

The Antiquities Act and the national public lands it protects are under attack yet again. On October 6, Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT) introduced the National Monument Creation and Protection Act (H.R. 3990) in the House of Representatives. 


 October 14th, 2017

October 14th, 2017

EPA Adminstrator Pruitt Signs Proposed Rule to Repeal the Clean Power Plan

The Trump Administration has been working to roll back environmental regulations since the beginning of the Presidency. In March, President Trump signed the energy independence executive order that, among other things, instructed the EPA to revise the Clean Power Plan (CPP). EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has now, in a nod to industry, signed a proposed rule that would do just that. 


 October 5th, 2017

October 5th, 2017

The Federal Land Freedom Act Threatens our National Public Lands

In a continued effort to keep you informed on the most relevant federal public lands policies, this memo will discuss the Federal Land Freedom Act of 2017. This Act would decrease safeguards and open up large swaths of national public lands to increased oil and gas drilling and exploration. 


 September 27th, 2017

September 27th, 2017

2017 Wildfire Season Spending Breaks Another Record

Last week in a continued effort to find a long-term wildfire
funding fix, Senators Ron Wyden (OR) and Mike Crapo
(ID), introduced an updated version of the their bipartisan
wildfire funding solution, the Wildfire Disaster Funding Act
(WDFA). 


 September 20th, 2017

September 20th, 2017

EPA Works to Revise and Rescind Stream and Welands Protections

At the Mountain Pact, we strive to keep you informed on environmental and public lands policies relevant to your community. Today, we are writing to inform you about the upcoming public comment deadline regarding the Waters of the United States Rule. 


 September 15th, 2017

September 15th, 2017

Secret Report Leaves the Fate of National Monuments Unknown

We're writing you with an update on the Department of Interior national monument review. This unprecedented review of existing land protections came to a close on August 24 when Secretary Zinke issued his recommendations in a secret report to President Trump,informing the public only that changes would be made to a 'handful' of national monuments - keeping us in the dark as to the fate of large swaths of our national public lands. 


 August 21st, 2017

August 21st, 2017

The Link Between Climate Change and Public Lands

This Mountain Pact email looks at the relationship between America's public lands, climate change and the important role that mountain communities can play. Public lands not only provide a cultural foundation for the American West, but also a variety of environmental benefits to our communities (i.e. ecosystem services). 


 August 7th, 2017

August 7th, 2017

Sec. Zinke's Final Decision on the National Monument Review is Fast Approaching

On April 26, President Trump issued an Executive Order instructing Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to review all national monument designations over 100,000 acres that have been made since January 1, 1996. Then, on May 5 the Department of the Interior (DOI) announced a public comment period, and released a list of the 27 national monuments that would be under scrutiny.  


 July 19th, 2017

July 19th, 2017

Latest on Fire Funding Fixes in Congress & the Implementation of the Outdoor REC Act

The federal climate change and public lands policy landscape is ever changing and the work is never done. In this Mountain Pact newsletter we share the latest news on fire/public lands funding in Congress and the implementation of the Outdoor REC Act - two areas we have worked on extensively with our local government and chamber partners. 


 June 29th, 2017

June 29th, 2017

USDA Reorganization Hurts Forest Conservation and Rural Communities

A major United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reorganization is underway and will eliminate important programs that assist rural communities, including those surrounded by US Forest Service lands. This reorganization is part of a broader review in response to the March 13, 2017 Executive Order (EO) Comprehensive Plan for Reorganizing the Executive Branch, as well as a directive in the 2014 Farm Bill to create a new Under Secretary of Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs. 


 June 13th, 2017

June 13th, 2017

Now's Your Chance to Stand with the Paris Climate Agreement

Calling all mountain communities concerned about climate change: you can join The Mountain Pact along with 1,000 U.S. governors, mayors, businesses, investors, and colleges and universities, who are publicly stating their support for the Paris Climate Agreement, at We Are Still In. 


 May 30th, 2017

May 30th, 2017

The Mountain Pact & Elected Officials Travel to Washington D.C. to Talk Public Lands Investement & Outdoor Recreation Economies

Last week, The Mountain Pact went to Washington D.C. to meet with Western Senators, the USDA/Forest Service and the new Interior Department to discuss the importance of public lands to the well-being of our communities. Executive Director Diana Madson was joined by local elected officials from Bend, OR, Telluride, CO, Alta, UT, and Aspen, CO.  


 May 15th, 2017

May 15th, 2017

Public Comment Opportunity to Inform How the Outdoor Recreation Economy is Defined

Last year, Congress directed the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) to measure the outdoor recreation economy per the Outdoor Recreation Jobs and Economic Impact (REC) Act of 2016. Now the BEA is seeking public input in defining what activities should be considered part of the outdoor recreation sector - the first step in measuring the industry's contribution to the U.S. economy.   


 April 26th, 2017

April 26th, 2017

Public Lands Under Attack

National public lands are an integral part of the fabric of western communities and a major driver of local economies. Through tools such as the Antiquities Act, the American government can act to protect and enhance the American public land system.


 April 5th, 2017

April 5th, 2017

US Climate Goals Under Fire

In 2015, nearly 200 nations came together to seal a historic climate change deal in Paris, a culmination of 20 years of United Nations talks. The deal calls for nations to implement greenhouse gas reduction standards in order to keep global temperatures well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius. 


 May 29, 2017

May 29, 2017

President Trump Rolls Back Key Climate Efforts

For the past two years, with your help The Mountain Pact has worked to address issues in the federal coal program. Federal coal, that is coal coming from federal public lands, is often sold to coal companies at prices significantly lower than market value, shortchanging taxpayers on millions of dollars. 


 May 7th, 2017

May 7th, 2017

Moutain Towns, Chambers & Economic Development Corps. Urge Trump Administration & Congress to Move Forward with Outdoor Economy Study

On Monday, The Mountain Pact, together with 14 chambers of commerce and economic development corporations, sent a letter to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, and the White House asking them to implement the outdoor economy study authorized by the U.S. Congress as part of the Outdoor Recreation Jobs and Economic Impact Act (Outdoor REC Act) of 2016, and support the national public lands on which communities depend. 


 May 2nd, 2017

May 2nd, 2017

Policy Alert: Federal Public Lands

Federal public lands are important to our national economy, the economies of mountain towns, and the overall quality of life for citizens in our communities. Yet federal public lands have been under fire in Congress. The Mountain Pact is keeping track of these policy developments to keep you informed.