Elected Officials to Protect America's Lands​

The mission of Elected Officials to Protect America’s Public Lands is to protect watersheds and groundwater thereby keeping the land vibrant for future generations. Every American deserves to enjoy our public lands, to have access to clean water, and to have ecosystems across our country preserved and protected.

Expanding Climate Adaptation

[Veterans don’t distinguish each other by which political party we are affiliated with; we stand by and with our Constitution. I consider it my duty to stand by our public lands, protecting them for future generations.]

Conserving Water and Ecosystems

[Veterans don’t distinguish each other by which political party we are affiliated with; we stand by and with our Constitution. I consider it my duty to stand by our public lands, protecting them for future generations.]

Protecting Our Public Lands

[Veterans don’t distinguish each other by which political party we are affiliated with; we stand by and with our Constitution. I consider it my duty to stand by our public lands, protecting them for future generations.]

Saving the Land and Water Conservation Fund​

Launched in September 2018, Elected Officials to Protect America’s Public Lands organized 80 bipartisan lawmakers, who are veterans from all 50 states, to sign a letter to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to support the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).

For more than 50 years Land and Water Conservation Fund, (LWCF), grants have contributed to infrastructure developments and conservation measures that protect and enhance our national parks, national forests, monuments, wildlife refuges, and over 40,000 state and local park projects across our nation.

The bipartisan LWCF is one of our most successful conservation programs as it draws on funds from offshore oil and gas royalties, not taxpayers, to expand, develop, conserve, and make recreational spaces in our public lands.

In January of 2019 reauthorization of LWCF was signed into law. Read the letter we sent to make it happen.

CALLL TO ACTION?

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Making News

– Amanda Peacher, March 28, 2019

Published by Boise State Public Radio

EOPA veterans who are lawmakers wrote eighteen individual Op-ed’s exposing Bernhardt, to help protect our public lands and bring awareness to this issue.
 

Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., wasted no time lambasting Bernhardt for his relationship with old clients.   

“Your former clients on the oil and gas industry have been caught on tape crowing about how you’re their guy at Interior.”

Wyden also accused Bernhardt of quote “meddling with the science.” The Senator was referring to Bernhardt blocking the release of a U.S. Fish and Wildlife report that analyzed the effects of toxic chemicals on wildlife. 

Op-ed by State Rep. Debra Sariñana

Veterans don’t distinguish each other by which political party we are affiliated with; we stand by and with our Constitution. I consider it my duty to stand by our public lands, protecting them for future generations.

 

 

Story by Ramona du Houx

The Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) spends more than $1 million per year to push its agenda in Congress and federal regulatory agencies. Gathered for a private meeting in June 2017, oil executives who make up IPAA were celebrating David Bernhardt’s sudden rise. Their former lawyer had been appointed to the No. 2 spot at the Department of the Interior.

 

Op-ed by State Rep. Debra Sariñana

New Mexicans were disheartened and angered about government shutdown. According to a WalletHub study, New Mexico was one of the hardest hit, especially our outdoor recreation economy, which generates $9.9 billion in consumer spending annually and employs 99,000. Our public lands were directly threatened. We still don’t know the damage done to our ecosystems and cultural heritage.


Our 2018 Letter To The Department of the Interior

Dear Secretary Zinke,

We, the undersigned, are elected officials who represent every state in the United States. We are veterans who took an oath to serve and protect America — our Constitution, our people, and our nation’s land.

For more than 50 years Land and Water Conservation Fund, (LWCF), grants have contributed to infrastructure developments and conservation measures that protect and enhance our national parks, national forests, monuments, wildlife refuges, and over 40,000 state and local park projects across our nation. 

After coming back from a deployment or a set of orders, being able to relax and enjoy our public lands with family and friends is an important and wonderful part of coming home. Many of us kept the tradition of hiking, fishing, hunting and relaxing by the water after transitioning into the civilian world – and passed it onto our children. It is important to protect our public lands for years to come so that our children and grandchildren will be able to enjoy America’s lands. 

Our national treasures drive the economy in rural communities. They attract families, employees, businesses, and entrepreneurs, which desire a quality of life that only comes from being in close proximity to public lands.

One of the fastest growing sectors of our economy is outdoor recreation, which contributes $887 billion and supports 7.6 million jobs. A Bureau of Economic Analysis study found that the outdoor recreation economy was growing at 3.8 percent. Every $1 of LWCF funds invested results in a return of $4 in economic value.

The bipartisan LWCF is one of our most successful conservation programs because it draws on funds from offshore oil and gas royalties, not taxpayers, to expand, develop, and improve public lands for recreational areas, conservation, and the preservation of natural ecosystems.

Unfortunately, funding for this more than 50-year program runs out at the end of September 2018. Many of the land deals that LWCF helps support locally can be complicated real estate transactions that involve private landowners, local governments, federal and state officials, banks and local charities. These deals can take years and stakeholders need to plan with clarity.

Generations of Americans have visited our public lands. For many, these trips have become annual pilgrimages connecting families with our country’s roots while creating lasting memories. Our land is intrinsic to who we are as people.

We urge you to do all that you can to ensure the continued reauthorization of the LWCF at its full amount to ensure prosperous investments in America’s battlefields, monuments, and all public lands.

We all need the LWCF funds to continue to expand, develop, and improve public lands for recreational areas, conservation, the preservation of natural ecosystems and our national heritage.

Very Respectfully,

Hon. Ryan Zinke
Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington DC 20240


June 7, 2018

County Supervisor Ted Alejandre

California, Air Force


Rep. John Gannon

Idaho, Army


Sen. Antonio Muñoz

Illinois, Army


Rep. Robert Alley Sr.

Maine, Navy


Rep. Jim Gartner

Kansas, Marines


Sen. Josh Newman

California, Army


Rep. Joseph Almeida

Rhode Island, Marines


Rep. Neal Goodman

Pennsylvania, Marines


Sen. Clarence Nishihara

Hawaii, Army


Assembly Member Elliot Anderson

Nevada, Marines


Rep Bill Hitchens

Georgia, Marines


Assembly Member Felix Ortiz

New York, Army


Rep. Richard Andrade

Arizona, Air Force


Rep. Timothy Horrigan

New Hampshire, USACE


Sen. Catherine Osten

Connecticut, Army


Delegate John Bell

Virginia, Air Force


Sen. Stephan Pappas

Wyoming, National Guard


Rep. César Blanco

Texas, Navy


Delegate Richard Iaquinta

West Virgina, Army


Rep. Antonio Parkinson

Tennessee, Marines


Sen. Larry Boggs

Oklahoma, Air Force


Mayor Gary Jarvis

Florida, Air Force


Sen. David Parks

Nevada, Air Force


Sen. David Bradley

Arizona, Navy


Mayor Richard Kerr

California, Marines


Rep. John Persell

Minnesota, Air Force


Rep. Tom Burch

Kentucky, Navy

Council Member John Marc Knight
Utah, Army

Rep. David Potter
Vermont, Air Force

Rep. Mark Cardenas
Arizona, Army

Sen. Rick Kolowski
Nebraska, Marines

Sen. Ronald Rice
New Jersey, Marines

Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia
Illinois, Army

Assembly Member Al Kramer
Nevada, Army

Sen. Arthur Rusch
South Dakota, Army

Sen. Frank Ciccone III
Rhode Island, Army

Sen. Carlo Leone
Connecticut, Air Force

Rep. Randy Rushing
Mississippi, Air Force

Rep. Herb Conaway Jr.
New York, Air Force

School Board Simone Lightfoot
Michigan, Air Force

Rep. Nick L. Salazar
New Mexico, Air Force

Sen. Ronnie Cromer
South Carolina, Army/Nat’l Guard

Rep. Thomas Longstaff
Maine, Marines

Rep. Debra Marie Sariana
New Mexico, Air Force

Sen. Jeff Danielson
Iowa, Navy

Assembly Member William
Magnarelli New York, Army Reserve

Rep. Dean Schamore
Kentucky, Navy

Sen. Gerald Dial
Alabama, Army/National Guard

Sen. Richard Marcellais
North Dakota, Army

Rep. Michael Sheehy
Ohio, Army

Council Member Mike Dryden
Alaska, Army

Rep. Grier Martin
North Carolina, Army

Sen. Frank Smith
Montana, Air Force

Rep. Larry Dunphy
Maine, Navy


Sen. Fred S. Martin

Idaho, National Guard


Sen. Gregory Tarver

Louisiana, Army


Rep. Mark Ellebracht

Missouri, Army


Sen. Fred Martin

Idaho, National Guard


Rep. Jose Tosado

Massachusetts, Navy


Sen. Bruce Ennis

Delaware, National Guard


Rep. Stephen McCarter

Pennsylvania, Army Reserve


Rep. Joseph Troiano

Vermont, Army


Rep. Paul Evans

Oregon, Air Force/National Guard


Sen. John McCoy

Washington, Air Force


Council Member John Villegas

California, Army


Rep. Dave Fern

Montana, Coast Guard


Rep. James McLaughlin

Rhode Island, Army


Rep. David Whitaker

Arkansas, Air Force


Del. Robert Flanagan,

Maryland, Navy



Council Member Benito Barrios,

California, Marines



Rep. Rodolpho S. Martinez,

New Mexico, Air Force


Rep. Gary Howell,

Michigan, Army



Rep. Alex Cornell du Houx

Maine, Marines/Navy



Rep. Chuck Moseley

Indiana, National Guard

Rep Michael Finn

Massachusetts, National Guard


Sen. Mark Miller

Wisconsin, National Guard


Delegate Pat Young

Maryland, Marines


Council Member Ken Zornes

Colorado, Army

Rep. Larry Gagne

New Hampshire, Navy