Spring is here. It's time to Defend Our Parks.

The Trump Administration is trying to destroy the Endangered Species Act. The Department of the Interior, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Bureau of Land Management have proposed removing regulations that protect wolves, grizzlies, mountain lions, and other species from the ESA and allowing states to “manage” them.

We all know what “manage” means: hunting seasons. In Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming (states that already have “state management”), wolves and bears are being slaughtered right now. Many hunters in these states have no concept of what an ecosystem is, and think only of their own egos and how they can brag about killing large, dangerous animals. Schools have failed to teach these hunters about the circle of life. The hunters have convinced themselves that wolf predation is the major reason why elk and deer populations decrease. That’s wrong. The major reasons for reduced numbers of elk and deer are severe winters, collisions with vehicles on highways, and hunting. Wolves are the 9th or 10th cause of elk and deer death annually in states where wolves live.

Equally bad are the actions the Trump Administration has taken to open our public lands to oil and gas drilling, mining, domestic animal grazing, and border wall construction. The Wilderness Society has been vigilant in making us aware of what the Trump Administration is up to. You can follow the Wilderness Society, Defenders of Wildlife, the Center for Biological Diversity, and other watchdog groups on Twitter if you don’t have time to read all the daily reports in the newspapers yourself.

Earth Day is April 22. Many people will be marching, speaking, and taking part in activities that help the earth on that day. Have you signed up to help?

State legislatures are in session in most states, but will complete their work soon. Have you called, emailed, or written a letter to your state legislator about public lands? How about contacting your Congressional delegation too? It’s easy to do. You can find their addresses through Google. Get yourself a stack of plain postcards and write a sentence or two to each of your representatives every month. They need to know how we feel and where we stand on public lands and wildlife.

Only YOU can defend our parks from attack by politicians. Please step up.

It's Time to Contact State Legislatures

All across the country, state legislators are working hard to pass bills for state budgets, education policy, roads and bridges repair, public safety, judicial system review, and environmental matters. These are YOUR legislators and they are making policy for YOUR state.

Have you called, emailed, sent a letter, or visited your state legislators? If so, good! Keep it up! If not, why not? These men and women are making decisions that affect you and your family.

It’s easy to contact your legislators, even if you don’t remember their names. Just go to your state government home page, easily found through Google. Just type in “Montana state government” or “New Mexico state government” (use your own state) and you’ll get an answer: https://mt.gov or www.newmexico.gov, etc.

After you get to your state government’s home page, look for a tab or menu item that says “government” or something similar. Click on that, and then look for “legislature” or “legislative branch.” In Montana, it’s at https://leg.mt.gov. Right on the home page, it invites you to “Find My Legislator.” And there you are.

Once you find your legislator’s name, you’ll see his or her phone number, email address, and office location. Now you’re ready to contact him or her.

Why should you contact your legislator? To express your opinion about our parks, public lands, and wildlife, of course.

Right now there are bills in every legislature making their way through committees and onto the floor of the state senate and state house (except in Nebraska, that has only one legislative body). Your parks, public lands, and wildlife are at risk. Don’t let them down. Express yourself!

Find our where your legislators stand by calling their offices and asking their administrative staff, or by reading their newsletters that come to you, or by going to their websites, or all three. Do you agree or disagree? Regardless, you need to contact them and let them know your views.

Lots of times, our legislators have no idea what their constituents think about a particular bill. So they are left with using their own opinions, which may be for or against or neutral. Do you want that?

Before you call or email, find some facts to support your views. And then, contact them!

You can do it! You MUST do it if you care about our parks, public lands, and wildlife.

Defend Our Parks t-shirts now available!

Defend Our Parks is proud to offer our first t-shirt for supporters who donate $25. 

To get yours, click on the “About Us” pull-down menu. Then click on “T-shirts” to get to the page that shows the shirt.  Click “Donate”. Fill out your information with your address and size, and make your donation.  The t-shirt is black with white lettering and an image. Our shirts ship free.

Here’s the front graphic:

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And here’s the back:

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How You Can Help Defend Our Parks in 2019

Are you looking for a way to stay active in progressive causes? Here’s how you can help Defend Our Parks in 2019:

The midterm elections are over. We worked hard, and we help defeat a couple of the parks’ enemies in Congress. Let’s forge ahead!

It’s time for Defend Our Parks activists to set goals for 2019 and prepare for the new 116th Congress. You can help. We have three goals:

  • First, we’ll continue to oppose the Anti-Parks Caucus members.

  • Second, now that we’re in a non-election year, we’ll concentrate on defeating the Anti-Parks Caucus’s bad bills that attack our public lands and wildlife.

We’ve chosen two strategies to use to defeat bad legislation: (1) recruiting a group of volunteers and (2) fundraising to get the money to run more ads.

First, recruiting a group of volunteers. We’re hoping to gather a talented group of volunteers to help Defend Our Parks in 2019. You could be one of them!

Soon, you’ll see a new page on this website about how to volunteer and what you’ll be asked to do as a volunteer in 2019.

Second, fundraising to get the money to run more ads. We’re going to give away t-shirts with the Defend Our Parks logo and mission statement in return for a donation of $25 or more. Soon, you’ll see a new page on this website dedicated to the t-shirt campaign. Our ads bought with these donations will oppose bad bills introduced in Congress.

  • Our third goal will be to organize for the 2020 election. We hope to defeat Donald Trump if he is still in office in 2020. And we hope in 2020 to flip the Senate to a Democratic majority while holding onto the majority in the House. We’d like to have volunteers in every Western state to work toward our goals in the 2020 election.

There’s a lot of work to do to save our public lands and wildlife from destruction. Bills and executive orders from the President, from Congress, from the Department of Interior, from Fish and Wildlife Service, and from Governors and state legislatures are targeting wolves, bears, bison, coyotes, and furbearers like lynx, fox, and wolverine for death.

We must stop this!

We need your help. Please consider becoming a volunteer for Defend Our Parks. Consider making a donation and wearing our t-shirts when they become available soon.

Join us in working to save our public lands and wildlife!

2018 Post Election Review

The midterm elections of 2018 that we anticipated and dreaded for so many months have come and gone. There was more good news than the Resistance could hope for: 40 new seats for Progressives in the U.S. House of Representatives and a switch from Republican to Democratic control. In January 2019, the Democratic majority can begin to undo some of the worst actions of the Trump Administration, and stop the pile of anti-parks bills and amendments that were introduced in the House during the first two years.

Many of the winners of Congressional races across the country were women and members of minority groups that have suffered under Republican domination. Two women who are Muslims, two women who are members of American Indian tribes, and two Latinas are among the new Representatives. Having the voices of groups that were missing from the House will be a good thing. We hope their voices will add to the voices of other environmentally conscious Representatives trying to stop the takeover of our public lands by industry and agriculture interests.

The election news was not all good for public lands. Eleven of the Anti-Parks Congresspeople were up for reelection or chose to run for different offices. Of those, seven won their contests. Rob Bishop (UT-1), Mark Amodei (NV-2), Liz Cheney (WY), Louie Gohmert (TX-1), Doug Lamalfa (CA-1), and Chris Stewart (UT-2) were reelected to the House. Another, Kevin Cramer (ND), gave up his House seat and ran for the U.S. Senate, defeating incumbent Democrat Heidi Heitcamp. One man, Raul Labrador (ID-1), was forced out by accusations of illegal activities. Another, Pete Sessions (TX-32) lost his bid for reelection. The final member of the group up for reelection, Steve Pearce (NM-2), gave up his House seat and ran for governor. He lost to a Democrat - a Latina.

Unfortunately, the U.S. Senate did not flip from Republican to Democratic. But it was close. As of Nov. 13, 2018, the Republicans hold 51 seats and the Democrats plus two Independents hold 47 seats. Two elections have not been decided and are headed for recounts. If they both go to Democrats, then the balance of power will remain unchanged: 51 to 49. If they split, it will be 52 to 48. If they both go to Republicans, it will be 53 to 47.