Target: Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewel and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack
Goal: End mining, drilling, and logging on federal lands, until the public again has access to National Parks.
Because of the current government shutdown, the public is being kept out of all National Parks and many other federal lands. But ironically, oil, mineral, and timber companies are still allowed to drill, mine, and log on federal lands while the shutdown is going on. Officials in the US Department of Interior and Department of Agriculture, which oversee National Park and National Forest lands respectively, have given us an unusually clear glimpse of where their priorities lie. Federal lands are supposed to be managed for the benefit of the American people, and resource extraction shouldn’t be going on while the public is barred from our National Parks.
During the shutdown, which was caused because Congress has been unable to pass a budget, almost all “nonessential” federal government services are temporarily unavailable. The fact that the Departments of Interior and Agriculture have apparently found the resources to keep public lands open to drilling and logging, but can’t keep National Parks and other recreational areas open, shows resource extraction in being prioritized over public access to our lands. It’s time for this to change.
If the money doesn’t exist to keep federal lands open to the public, then mining, drilling, and logging shouldn’t be allowed there either. If the federal government is forced to choose between resource extraction and keeping our lands open to the American people, then public access should be the top priority. Sign the petition below to demand that no mining, drilling, or logging on federal lands occur until the public once again has access to our National Parks.
Dear Secretary Jewel and Secretary Vilsack,
We, the undersigned, call on the Department of Interior and the Department of Agriculture to stop prioritizing resource extraction over public access on federal lands. It is both ironic and outrageous that mining, drilling, and logging on federal lands continues unabated during the shutdown, while the public is being kept out of National Parks and other recreational areas. This sends an unfortunate message about the federal government’s priorities, and we urge you to correct the situation immediately.
If there really aren’t the resources to keep National Parks open, then extractive industries shouldn’t have access to our public lands, either. If we have to prioritize one use over the other, then public access to our federal lands should be considered more important than drilling, mining, and logging.
It’s a sad state of affairs when oil and timber companies can gain easier access to our public lands than ordinary American citizens. Please stop giving special treatment to these companies, and end extraction on federal lands until we once again have access to our National Parks.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: David Stanley via Flickr