Email Your Senators
Thank you for your support and for sending this letter. More information about why this is so important: It’s due to a recent concern: the nomination of David Bernhardt for Secretary of the Interior.
The Department of the Interior is one of the most important departments; it oversees key federal agencies like the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. At least 20% of American lands (about 245 million acres) fall under the DOI’s purview. Areas like Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area are overseen by DOI agencies.
Bernhardt is a former lobbyist for the oil industry with a laundry list of conflicts of interest and questionable decisions. During his time at the Department of the Interior, Bernhardt has helped make recommendations that have shrunk national monuments nearly in half, led efforts to roll back the Endangered Species Act, and opened up millions of acres of public lands for oil and gas leasing (like in the Ruby Mountains in Northern Nevada).
What worries us most about Bernhardt is the 2019 budget that’s proposed for the DOI. Under this budget, two conservation funding programs critical to Nevada would have their funds significantly cut or eliminated.
- The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which was just permanently reauthorized, would see its funding cut by 95%
- The Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act (SNPLMA) would see all funds removed for future projects.
Both LWCF and SNPLMA have benefitted Nevada tremendously. LWCF funds helped the state acquire the Spring Mountain Ranch, while SNPLMA grants have been used to restore the Red Rock Scenic Loop Drive, purchase the land for the Mount Charleston Visitor Center, restore Lovell Canyon Rd, purchase mining sites within Lake Mead National Recreation Area, and renovate Mount Charleston campground and picnic areas and much more.
Save Red Rock is counting on future funds from these programs to help us create a bike path through Red Rock Canyon, improve traffic conditions on Scenic Byway 159, and maintain and improve public parks, and campgrounds.
This isn’t the first time the DOI has proposed to zero out these programs, unfortunately. Yet Bernhardt has not demonstrated that his priority is to keep these programs running. These funds belong in Southern Nevada. The Southern Nevada Public Lands Management Act funds was passed in 1998 with a stated purpose that the proceeds received from the sale of BLM land in Nevada are to be used for the purchase of environmentally sensitive lands and assist with the care of public parks, campgrounds, and more. We are concerned that under his leadership, the Department of the Interior would continue setting policies that would hurt the parks Nevadans know and love.
Senators Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen will be voting on Bernhardt’s nomination. Please join us in sending them a message today sharing your concerns with David Bernhardt as Secretary of the Interior. We deserve a Secretary of the Interior who cares about the programs that benefit Nevadans.
Please send email in form above, as form letter, or change to fit your own circumstances, but please do it today, as they are voting on it in committee tomorrow.