Tell Congress to Fund Public Lands

President Trump recently proposed a budget for 2020 that would slash funding for our public lands. Access Fund is asking the climbing community to speak out in support of outdoor recreation and conservation.

Yosemite, and thousands of other climbing areas across the country would suffer from President Trump's proposed budget cuts. Photo courtesy of © Francois Lebeau

President Trump’s budget would slash funding for public land agencies like the National Park Service and the US Forest Service, as well as cut funding for critical conservation programs like the Land and Water Conservation Fund. We need your help to remind Congress that the care and conservation of America’s public lands—home to nearly 60% of climbing areas in this country—is not a partisan issue.

As Americans, we love our public lands. The overwhelming bipartisan support of the recently passed John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act proved conservation of our public lands is a core American value. Senator Murkowski (R-AK), chairwoman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, stated that: “The Senate’s overwhelming approval of this bipartisan lands package is a significant victory for Alaska and states across the country, particularly out west.” The outdoor recreation economy, which accounts for nearly 2% of the GDP, is one of America’s fastest growing economic sectors.

However, President Trump’s proposed cuts would force agencies to lay off rangers, resource specialists, and many other hard working stewards who take care of our public lands. Climate science research and environmental standards would also suffer. At the same time, Trump’s budget proposes increased funding for non-renewable energy development like oil and gas extraction on Forest Service and BLM lands. The President’s proposed budget is a blueprint for disaster for our public lands, our climate, and our economy.

Fortunately, a president’s budget proposal is not law. Only Congress can appropriate funding. But President Trump’s budget proposal is a statement about his values and priorities, and it clearly shows that he will continue to pursue his agenda of energy dominance at the expense of America’s public lands and our climate.

Reactions to the President’s budget proposal have been mixed. Congressman Grijalva, Chair of the House Natural Resources Committee and longtime public lands advocate, regarded the proposed budget as a “waste of time”, and many other congressional members agreed. However, officials from both the Department of Interior and National Park Service shared their support of lowering the cost of government in recent congressional testimony.

We need your help

Right now, Congress is considering the budget for 2020, and your elected leaders need to hear from you! Please take 5 minutes to write your congressional representative and tell them to fully fund America’s public lands.