Stop Protecting Big Business From Citizens Collecting Evidence of Pollution

wyoming john menard

Target: Governor of Wyoming Matt Mead

Goal: Do not make it illegal to gather evidence of pollution on public property.

A bill was recently passed in Wyoming that makes it illegal to gather information on public or federal lands, which in turn makes it illegal to document pollution on public property. The bill states that it is illegal to “take a sample of material, acquire, gather, photograph or otherwise preserve information in any form from open land which is submitted or intended to be submitted to any agency of the state or federal government.” This will hamper student research efforts, as well as any concerned citizens who wish to report littering or more extreme forms of pollution. Even the act of photographing litter or removing trash could lead to a $5,000 fine and a year in prison.

It is being claimed that the bill is a move that could be seen as an attempt to legally protect favored industries from being caught in the act of polluting public lands. Similarities have been drawn between the bill, named the Data Trespass Bill, and “ag-gag” laws that prevent people from collecting evidence at factory farms. Denounce this vague bill and protect the rights of citizens and activists to document and collect evidence of pollution in public areas.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Governor Matt Read,

The recent Data Trespass Bill passed in the state of Wyoming is an affront to the rights of concerned citizens and students. The wording of the bill, while apparently benign at first look, actually prohibits people from documenting pollution on public and federal lands. In fact, it allows for their punishment to the tune of $5,000 and a year in prison, for the ridiculous crime of caring for their environment.

It is difficult to not suspect a form of favoritism in regards to industrial entities that might be operating in the affected areas. Collecting trash or photographing littering, dumping sites or other evidence of pollution is now a crime. The vague wording of the bill also creates confusion for people who wish to conduct field research, or who even wish to just take photos in national parks.

A line has been drawn connecting this bill to similar “ag-gag” laws, which are already controversial impediments to free speech and accountability in the agriculture industry. This bill is questionably legal, at best, and an attack on the freedoms of your constituents. Denounce this bill and use the powers and responsibility of your office to challenge it.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: John Menard

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14 Comments

  1. Pollution doesn’t stop at state borders. What happens in Wyoming is a matter of concern for all of us.

  2. Brenda Perez says:

    What an easy way to get away with “murder”.

  3. If better tabs were kept on the big corporations then the public would not have to look out for there best interest like pollution’sthat could harm families health and possibly even cause death.

  4. That is totally insane, and I would wager unconstitutional!
    Pollution on private lands is everyone’s concern, but on public property, even more so.

    The ONLY purpose that I can see for an egregious law such as this, is to protect the occurrence of unethical/illegal activities.

    We should be encouraging the oversight of our environment and our wildlife, for its safety and protection. Not doing so hampers our freedoms and our rights, our health and welfare–and that of our animals.

    First, its the unconstitutional Ag-Gag laws, now this. Our country is changing, much for the worst. The only people with rights will be big corporations and wealthy individuals.

    It is unconscionable!

  5. The solution to this and many other stupid laws is jury nullification. If you are on the jury trying someone for this, simply find them not guilty, even if they committed the crime. You practically have the power of a Supreme Court justice.
    See http://fija.org/

    Spread the word.

  6. Another example of this fucked up world where Big Business is allowed to destruct our nature…the arrogance of it blows my mind + the fact that they think they can get away with it…NO WAY arrogant psychopaths !!

  7. michael guest says:

    What a stupid proposal! Putting politics and corporations over people is totally unacceptable and wrong. All public lands belong to us, not them.

  8. Deborah Cherry says:

    I’m writing from Canada. I immediately thought: “There goes the US Constitution…….again !!!” This crazy idea is surely unconstitutional.
    I’ve read that GMO seeds are being sown and tested under-the-radar in a number of your National Wilderness Parks.
    Corporations are out-of-control thanks to Free Trade Agreements.

  9. Karen Remnant says:

    I wonder how much was paid to get that decision???

  10. We’ve got to keep money and religion out of politics, seriously. This is absolutely corrupt. Lobbyists want to hide the evidence of their evil and pay off the government so they can get away with their crimes and brand activists as the criminals.

  11. What have these bastards hiding.
    A bill was recently passed in Wyoming that makes it illegal to gather information on public or federal lands, which in turn makes it illegal to document pollution on public property. The bill states that it is illegal to “take a sample of material, acquire, gather, photograph or otherwise preserve information in any form from open land which is submitted or intended to be submitted to any agency of the state or federal government.
    WHAT ARE THESE BASTARDS HIDING.

  12. “The human appetite for animal flesh is a driving force behind virtually every major category of environmental damage now threatening the human future – deforestation, erosion, fresh water scarcity, air and water pollution, climate change, biodiversity loss, social injustice, the destabilization of communities and the spread of disease.” — The World Watch Institute
    http://www.cowspiracy.com/

  13. WHAT is it w/ these states? The land (owned by all of us) is beautiful WHY let people defile it? I guess they would rather have oil in the rivers, tree stumps and dead animals?

  14. “In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” ~George Orwell

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