In their latest effort to exploit public lands, the federal government is attempting to fast-track oil extraction, logging, and mining operations in our national forests according to a new memo from Trump’s Secretary of Agriculture, who oversees the Forest Service..
Despite facing previous objections to logging in national forests from court rulings, the memo directs the U.S. Forest Service to refocus its efforts on producing products and services from the 193 million acres of forests and grasslands it oversees. These new directives aim to speed up the process for oil and gas drilling, mining, and logging on public lands, and make it easier to obtain grazing permits. The memo appears to be an effort by the Secretary to implement the Trump Executive Order we alerted you about last week, which directs agencies to use the coronavirus pandemic to expedite major infrastructure projects while forgoing environmental reviews.
This new plan would be catastrophic for our national forests, with one former Forest Service deputy chief going so far as to say it’s taking the Forest Service back by 50 years, and other environmental activists warning against the potential air and water pollution consequences that could kill wildlife and drive up carbon emissions.
It’s up to us how we use our public lands. We can either exploit them for the near-term profits of a few or protect them for future generations. We’ll keep fighting for the preservation of public lands like our national forests — which provide wildlife habitats, clean water sources, and breathtaking landscapes, among other critical benefits.
Our pro-environment coalition in Congress will keep raising awareness for reckless decisions like this that put our public lands at serious risk. Support their work to hold the Trump Administration accountable for exploiting our landscapes by chipping in today.
— SEEC PAC