Take Action Today!
Thank you for caring about your public lands and waters. You have the opportunity to protect and conserve our local environment through submitting public comments, attending and speaking at meetings, and signing petitions. As a grassroots environmental organization, HCCA is excited to work with our members and the public to proactively shape land and water management. You can be an effective advocate for the environment by taking action on the following issues:
Tell Scott Tipton to Uphold the Integrity of the Wilderness Act
On Thursday, December 7, 2017, the House Federal Lands Subcommittee has a scheduled hearing on H.R. 1349, a bill that would amend 1964 Wilderness Act to allow bikes and other mechanical intrusions into every Wilderness in the nation. Representative Scott Tipton sits on the Committee and we encourage you to call him and tell him to oppose this bill.
While HCCA generally supports mountain biking in our community and we’ve collaborated closely with our local mountain biking organizations from wilderness proposals to community cleanup days, we disagree with this proposed bill as it would pull apart the integrity of the 1964 Wilderness Act. Last year, HCCA joined 132 other organizations in submitting a letter to Congress expressing opposition to this proposal. The letter states: “We believe that this protection has served our nation well, and that the ‘benefits of an enduring resource of wilderness’ would be forever lost by allowing mechanized transport in these areas.”
The hearing on this bill is tomorrow and you can share your voice in this issue! Please call Call Scott Tipton, (970) 241-2499 (Grand Junction), (970) 259-1490 (Durango), (202) 225-4761 (Washington D.C.) and urge him to uphold the integrity of the Wilderness Act and vote no on H.R. 1349.
Tell Scott Tipton to vote NO on the SECURE American Energy Act
H.R. 4239, the “Strengthening the Economy with Critical Untapped Resources to Expand (SECURE) American Energy Act”, would transfer management authority for the permitting of federal oil and gas resources to states and encourage offshore oil drilling. The bill includes many provisions aimed at expanding access to energy resources (mostly fossil fuels), distributing revenues from offshore oil and gas leases to several coastal states; and giving states regulatory authority to manage oil and gas development on federal lands within their borders.
Raúl Grijalva (D-Arizona, ranking member of the House Natural Resources Committee) said it best: “The Republican energy plan is to cut more corners, write bigger loopholes into the tax code and ignore more environmental standards to keep their rich industry friends happy. Working Americans are going to pay for this bill with their health, their money, their land, and their quality of life.”
This bill is currently moving forward, but YOU CAN SPEAK UP! Call Representative Scott Tipton, (970) 241-2499 (Grand Junction), (970) 259-1490 (Durango), (202) 225-4761 (Washington D.C.) and tell him you’re disappointed with his committee vote in support of H.R. 4239 and tell him to vote NO when it reaches the House floor.
Oppose the Federal Land Freedom Act (H.R. 3565 in the House and S. 335 in the Senate)
This proposed act would allow states to “assume federal leasing, permitting and regulatory responsibilities for oil and gas exploration, development, and production” on U.S. public lands. This proposal would have detrimental consequences from excluding these lands from the Endangered Species Act and overall skirting protections for federal lands by conveying oversight to state governments.
Call Representative Scott Tipton ((970) 241-2499) and Senator Cory Gardner ((970) 245-9553 or (303) 391-5777) and tell him you strongly oppose H.R. 3565 (house bill) and S. 335 (senate bill) and tell them to vote no on this dangerous bill.
Protect the Antiquities Act, Oppose H.R. 3990
H.R. 3990, the National Monument Creation and Protection Act, “prescribes limits on land that may be declared to be a national monument based on acreage, proximity to other national monuments, whether it has been reviewed by the Department of the Interior or Agriculture (USDA) under the National Environmental Policy Act, and whether it has been approved by each county and state within whose boundaries it will be located.” It also allows the President to reduce the size of any declared national monument with some parameters.
H.R. 3990 is a direct attack on the Antiquities Act and undermines the protection of our public lands. The acreage and proximity requirements are arbitrary and ignores many other important factors that should determine if an area is worthy of extra protection. Had this bill been passed in 1906, many of our treasured national parks and monuments would have never been protected.
Let’s protect the Antiquities Act and our treasured national monuments. Call Representative Scott Tipton today, (970) 241-2499 (Grand Junction), (970) 259-1490 (Durango), (202) 225-4761 (Washington D.C.), and tell him to vote NO on H.R. 3990.
Watershed Management Planning: Add Your Voice!
Stakeholder input is a crucial component of the watershed management planning process. In the East River Watershed, we’re asking YOU to provide input on how we can collaborate to manage our water resources. We want to learn more about your concerns for the future of our watershed, what your water use needs will be, and how you use our river systems. Did you observe a particularly eroded section of stream bank as you were floating by? Let us know! Is your favorite fishing hole no longer producing like it used to? Add a note about it. Collectively, stakeholder surveys and feedback will help define the issues addressed and identify potential solutions for the stream management planning process.
Support the Gunnison Public Lands Initiative
Signing a letter of support for the Gunnison Public Lands Initiative is one of the easiest ways to help us protect our public lands for their beautiful scenery, wildlife, and incredible recreation. The GPLI will use your signature to show local and state elected officials how much people care about Gunnison County’s public lands.
Say No to the State Mineral Revenue Protection Act (H.R. 2661)
H.R. 2661 would require royalty payments from the extraction of resources on public lands (owned by all U.S. citizens) to be paid directly to the states where they are extracted. This bill would incentivize states to green light resource extraction proposals and bypass rational protections for our shared public lands.
Keep public lands in public hands! Call Representative Scott Tipton ((970) 241-2499) today and tell him to oppose H.R. 2661.
Support the Wildfire Disaster Funding Act
The Wildfire Disaster Funding Act would amend the Budget Control Act allowing wildfire suppression expenditures in excess of the 2015 ten-year average to qualify for disaster funding through a budget cap adjustment. This bi-partisan bill would ensure that the Forest Service can meet its obligations to protect our public lands and people by having a separate funding mechanism to combat wildfires.
For years, increasing costs of wildfire suppression has affected the Forest Service to implement all of its land management responsibilities (currently, 50% of the Forest Service’s budget goes directly towards wildfire suppression). With this new bill in place, the Forest Service can change its current funding structure and free up resources to meet all of its responsibilities, and it would reduce the need to transfer funding from non-wildfire suppression accounts and programs.
Show your support for this bill! Call the offices of the House and Senate leadership and tell them you support the Wildfire Disaster Funding Act (contacts below).
House Speaker Paul Ryan: (202) 225-0600, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi: (202) 225-4965, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: (202) 224-2541, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer: (202) 224-6542.
Thompson Divide Withdrawal and Protection Act of 2017
On March 1 Senator Michael Bennet introduced the Thompson Divide Withdrawal and Protection Act of 2017 to protect more than 172,000 acres in Gunnison, Pitkin and Garfield Counties from the possibility of future mineral leasing. Included in the withdrawal area are the beautiful lands around Kebler Pass and the Highway 133 corridor.
Volunteer with HCCA
Whether you would like to help plan an event, attend local hearings and meetings, collect signatures and comments, or share your photos of your favorite local places, we always appreciate your help! HCCA volunteers and members help us in to many ways to protect the places that we all love most.
Contact Mel Yemma to Volunteer
Mel joined the HCCA team in July 2015. After growing up on the east coast, Mel became an o cial Colorado transplant after falling in love with the mountains throughout her studies at Col- orado College, where she majored in environmental science. At Colorado College, Mel gained outreach experience by co-managing the college’s student-run organic farm and working in the sustainability o ce. Prior to moving to Crested Butte, Mel’s travels led her to study the commod- ity chain of chocolate in Belize, as well as start a farm-to-table organic garden at a Hacienda in Nicaragua. By working with HCCA, Mel’s excited to share her passion for our beautiful valley
by getting the community engaged and interested in environmental issues through events and outreach initiatives. In her spare time, Mel spends most of her time planning potlucks, skiing, running, mountain biking, and coordinating a community garden in downtown Crested Butte.