The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed a bill that would abandon the protections of the Endangered Species Act and National Environmental Policy Act in our national forests. That bill, the Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2017 (HR 2936), will now be considered in the Senate. We need your help to stop it!
HR 2936, also known as the Westerman bill, would sacrifice environmental safeguards to expedite logging projects in our public forests. Yet, despite rhetoric from the House, Idahoans know it’s not an “either-or” choice between environmental protection and reduced fire risk. In fact, in Idaho we are proving that we can work collaboratively to find common ground to reduce fire risk, restore forests and streams and increase public involvement, all at the same time.
Tell Your Senators to Oppose HR 2936 Today!
Use the form below to email Sens. Jim Risch and Mike Crapo. Some text is already provided, but you can revise it to reflect your own words. For the greatest effect, talk about why your national forests are important to you! Here are some talking points and prompts that may help you craft your comments.
- Our public lands are essential to our quality of life in Idaho. Idahoans have a vested interest in the management and protection of these lands. HR 2936 undermines critical environmental laws that protect clean water, wildlife habitat and sensitive forests.
- Collaborative efforts in Idaho are having success at reducing fire risk, restoring forests, creating jobs, improving fish and wildlife habitat, and producing timber. These coalitions include conservationists, timber, wildlife and community interests. This bill threatens to disrupt our progress.
- The ability for citizens to challenge our government is fundamental to our democracy. By effectively blocking the courthouse doors, HR 2936 would undermine our rights to ensure compliance with laws designed to protect clean water, clean air and endangered species.
- The Idaho Roadless Rule was developed with the input of Idaho citizens and a broad array of stakeholders. It’s supported by Gov. C. L. “Butch” Otter, the Idaho Legislature and the majority of Idahoans. The Westerman bill would abandon commonsense protections of the Idaho Roadless Rule and allow logging and new road construction in Idaho’s pristine backcountry forests.
- Forest plans provide the long-term vision for our national forests. Currently, the Nez Perce-Clearwater and Salmon-Challis national forests are revising their plans. If approved, HR 2936 would cut the public out of the planning process entirely.
- Instead of using wildfires to dismantle America’s bedrock environmental laws, the Senate should ensure that the Forest Service has the money necessary to fund fire suppression without raiding recreation, wildlife and fuels-reduction accounts.