Since the days of Republican Teddy Roosevelt, the great conservationist president, it’s been important for true conservatives to set aside public lands for conservation that are free from development and exploitation. Public lands have now been set aside for national monuments, national parks, national forests, wilderness areas and for environmental, resource, wildlife and landscape preservation. Past, current and future generations of Americans value these public lands for recreation, sport, outdoor enjoyment and nature’s beauty. These lands provide many jobs in the outdoor recreation, hunting and tourism industry.
There is great wisdom in preserving these lands and being good stewards of God’s creation. Currently, 24 percent of land west of the Mississippi is under federal public ownership with most of this percentage being in Alaska. East of the Mississippi, only about 4 percent of land is under federal public ownership.
Unfortunately, an assault on the public lands we have remaining is now underway. Today, the Trump Administration announced it was working to reduce federal protections on over a million acres of public land in Utah. This is likely the first step in a cascading effort by this Administration to turn more and more public lands over for private development and resource exploitation.
I hope you will join me in drawing the line on this type of environmental exploitation of these national treasures. The truth is we, as a nation, still have plenty of undeveloped lands outside of our current stock of public lands that can be used for development and oil and gas exploration. There is currently no pressing need to destroy or diminish these wonders of nature and the national treasures we already have. Once gone, these public lands cannot be reclaimed.
Let’s all vote and work together to protect and preserve public lands. It should be one of our highest duties as Americans to protect the land we love.