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Reader: Speaking out for protecting public lands 

click to enlarge JOHN FIELDER
  • John Fielder

The board and members of Wild Connections, a central Colorado nonprofit, have great concern about developments that threaten our priceless public lands and the effectiveness of federal agencies and dedicated staff that manage them.

Under consideration in D.C., HJ Resolution 44 would eliminate future-directed management and chances for citizen involvement in our public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management. Wild Connections is deeply involved in promoting public involvement and doing field work to contribute to the Royal Gorge Field Office Resource Management Plan revision. Based on this, our group strongly supports "Planning 2.0," the BLM's updated procedures, and opposes HJ Resolution 44.

Another threat is HR 622, the "Local Enforcement for Local Lands Act," removing BLM and Forest Service law enforcement officers who protect natural resources and public land visitors. In their place, already overburdened local sheriffs and police would be forced to watch over millions of acres of federal lands.

Wild Connections is dedicated to studying natural values, involving the public, and promoting science-based management in the Royal Gorge Field Office and the Pike-San Isabel National Forests. We understand the importance of hands-on involvement by land managers and volunteers. We urge citizens to join us in speaking out for protecting public lands.

— James E. Lockhart, President, Wild Connections, Colorado Springs

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