The crucial issue of protecting our public lands is one that Osprey Packs is proud to be involved with, from our partnerships with organizations like Outdoor Alliance or op-eds written by Osprey’s Diane Wren. The following post and important call to action comes to us from Tania Lown-Hecht, the Director of Communications at Outdoor Alliance.
Three Things You Have to Know About the Public Land Heist
By Tania Lown-Hecht, Outdoor Alliance
Growing up, I spent summers backpacking through the Sierra Nevada, sleeping under a blanket of stars every night and spending days climbing crumbly peaks and swimming in the freezing Stanislaus River. Having access to a vast and unrivaled public lands system is one of the greatest parts of being an American and I can’t wait to one day show my children and grandchildren these national treasures.
But right now, millions of acres of our public land are facing an unprecedented risk. A campaign to transfer and sell off national land has gained serious traction in western states and in Congress. This public land heist threatens our entire public lands system and the future of the places we love to camp, hike, backpack, climb, and explore.
Here are the three most important things you need to know about the public land heist:
1. Some politicians would like to sell off our public lands to generate profit for individual states or private entities. Right now, a handful of out-of-touch politicians backed by private interests like the American Lands Council have launched an aggressive campaign to dispose of America’s public lands. They have introduced dozens of bills in 11 western states, and a few in Congress, that demand that the public “turn over” millions of acres of public land to state governments. Last year, the Senate passed an amendment that would pave the way to sell off public lands, and the House is considering 3 bills that would privatize National Forests.
2. State governments could privatize, sell, develop, or auction off our public lands to the highest bidder. If our public lands were given over to state governments, they would be the responsibility of state taxpayers to maintain and protect. A single wildfire can cost $100 million to fight, which would force states to sell or auction off land to cover the costs. Imagine if the place you love to hike, climb, paddle, ski, bike, or camp were suddenly sold to a private landowner or a real estate developer.
3. Every voice matters to protect our public land. A coalition of advocacy groups and outdoor businesses has come together to fight the public land heist. Voice your support for public lands by signing the petition today. By signing, you become part of a growing movement of people who are working together to keep public lands public. Millions of acres of our public land hang in the balance, so take action today.
About Outdoor Alliance
Our mission is to protect, enhance, and promote the human-powered outdoor recreation experience by uniting the voices of outdoor enthusiasts to conserve America’s public lands.
Outdoor Alliance is the only organization in the U.S. that unites the voices of outdoor enthusiasts to conserve public lands and ensure those lands are managed in a way that embraces the human-powered experience.
Outdoor Alliance started as an information coalition of recreation advocacy groups about ten years ago and is now a coalition of organizations, which includes American Whitewater, American Canoe Association, Access Fund, International Mountain Bicycling Association, Winter Wildlands Alliance, the Mountaineers, and the American Alpine Club.
About Tania Lown-Hecht, Outdoor Alliance Communications Director
Tania received her PhD in English from the University of Illinois, where she studied space and geography. While in graduate school, she started a blog that garnered over a quarter million hits a month, leading her to discover a love for content development and design that eventually led her out of academia and into nonprofit work. Tania leads communications at Outdoor Alliance, where she gets to tell the funny and engaging stories of why people love getting outside through our campaigns, social media, website, newsletters, and emails. Tania lives in DC and is passionate about the slowest-speed outdoor activities, including hiking, camping, backpacking, and cross-country skiing.