Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt and the Trump administration have made it clear that they do not plan to manage our public lands under a true multiple use mandate. Instead, the Secretary and President call for “energy dominance” on our public lands for oil, natural gas, and mineral development.
Through actions that streamline the oil and gas leasing process on public lands, it is clear this deregulation has disregarded voices from mountain communities that rely on a healthy, well-managed public lands systems for economic stability, outdoor recreation, and cultural vitality.
This focus excludes other user groups from public lands management including the $887 billion outdoor recreation economy that depends on a healthy public land system and bolsters mountain town economies.
It also accompanies out of date leasing and royalty rules on public lands that are shortchanging taxpayers approximately $90 million per year. These rules must be addressed to ensure taxpayers are getting their fair share, and to ensure that public lands are managed with multiple uses such as conservation and recreation in mind.
Additionally, 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. These methane leaks are dangerous for both our atmosphere and human health. Now, the Trump administration has eliminated this rule.
The Mountain Pact is working to bring the mountain town voice to the numerous and consequential attacks on public lands to ensure public lands are managed for multiple uses including hunting, fishing, camping, and mountain biking, as well conserving our pristine lands and wildlife for future generations to enjoy.
The Mountain Pact
On March 1st, 2018 the Mountain Pact released a new report 'The Case For Balanced Public Lands Use For Western Communities: Recommendations After One Year into the Trump Administration'.
Mayor Corinne Platt from Ophir, Colorado published an op-ed on March 27, 2018.
Corey Thompson, a Ward 2 alderman on the Red Lodge, Montana City Council published an oped on April 4, 2018.
On April 18, 2018 twenty-one local electeds sent in a letter to the Department of Interior Secretary Zinke and top officials with the Bureau of Land Management urging them to not eliminate the 2016 Methane Rule.
Todd Brown, town councilman and mayor pro tem of the Town of Telluride, published an op-ed on April 23, 2018.
On May 3, 2018 forty-one local electeds sent in a letter to House reps and Senate representatives urging them to not to move forward with the the SECURE / ONSHORE Acts.
On May 9th, Aspen Mayor Pro Tem Ann Mullins spoke to Aspen Public Radio about a Mountain Pact trip to Washington D.C where a group of western mountain town local electeds met with senators and representatives, as well as with senior officials at agencies like the Department of the Interior on balanced public land use.
On September 7th, 2018, The Mountain Pact and four local electeds sent a letter to the Department of Interior urging them to follow common sense environmental safeguards for oil and gas leasing processes, ensure agencies meet their legally obligated multi-use mandate, and secure a fair return to taxpayers from responsible energy development on public lands.
On September 18, 2018, The Mountain Pact released a media statement on the Bureau of Land Management’s Elimination of the Methane Waster Prevention Rule.
On September 20th, 2018, the Moab Times Independent in Utah published an article highlighting the Mountain Pact’s work advocating for the importance of increased royalty rates for western mountain communities that rely on healthy, well-managed public lands for economic stability, outdoor recreation, and cultural vitality.
On October 31st, 2018 the Town of Frisco, Colorado Mayor pro tem, Hunter Mortenson, published an op-ed in the Denver Post and The Burlington Record speaking to the detrimental impacts of the Department of the Interiors energy dominance agenda on Colorado’s thriving outdoor economy. This story was then covered by Denver News November 2nd.
On December 6th, 2018, the Town of Crested Butte, Colorado council member, Will Dujardin, published an op-ed in The Crested Butte News on the importance of maintaining basic environmental safeguards and public involvement in energy development on public lands.
On December 9th, 2018, Kalen Jones and Rani Derasary - both members of the Moab City Council - published an op-ed in The Salt Lake Tribune urging the BLM to ensure ample public participation and environmental analyses are conducted when considering energy development on public lands.
On December 15, 2018, Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke resigned. Read The Mountain Pact’s Media Statement on his two-year stint in the Department of Interior and his history of dismantling environmental protections while prioritizing energy development on our public lands - all while cutting the public out of decision making processes.
Read The Mountain Pact’s Media Statement on impacts to our public lands due to the Government shutdown and concerns about acting Secretary of the Interior Bernhardt.
On January 5, Town of Mammoth Lakes council member John Wentworth spoke to NPR about how the government shutdown is impacting their community and others like theirs.
On January 27, Avon, Colorado Mayor Sarah Smith-Hymes wrote an Op-ed for the Colorado Sun detailing why we need a comprehensive federal rule that applies to all oil and gas development on public lands in order to minimize waste and reduce methane emissions.
On February 4, 2019, The Mountain Pact released a statement detailing why we are deeply troubled by the nomination of David Bernhardt to be Interior Secretary. The story was covered by the Missoula Current, Denver Post, and SNEWS.
On March 16, Frisco, Colorado Mayor Pro Tem Hunter Mortensen wrote an op-ed detailing grave concerns over Acting Secretary of Interior David Bernhardt becoming the official Secretary of the Department of Interior.
On March 28, 2019, Corinne Platt, Mayor of Ophir, Colorado responded to Acting Secretary of Interior David Bernhardt’s Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Confirmation Hearing she had an op-ed printed in the Colorado Sun on March 31.
On April 11, 2019, The Mountain Pact released a statement detailing why we are deeply dismayed by the Senate’s confirmation of David Bernhardt as Secretary of Interior. This was covered in the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel.
On September 5, 2019 The Mountain Pact released a new report: “Public Lands Conservation in the Trump Era: How the Trump Administration’s Policies are Hurting Mountain Communities.” This was announced in a media release and covered by Indian Country Today and SNEWS.
The Mountain Pact brought five Western local elected officials to DC in mid-September 2019 for a Fly-in to discuss concerns around the Trump administration’s ethics violations, lack of transparency, and environmental rollbacks. This was covered by the Aspen Daily News.
Department of Interior Secretary Bernhardt reappointed William Pendley as Acting Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Director whose appointment was set to expire on September 30. The reappointment terminates on January 3, 2020. The Mountain Pact covered this with a media release which was covered by Indian Country Today.
If you are interested in more information about this or The Mountain Pact in general, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.