Get Involved in Mid-Terms

The current administration has been attacking national monuments, with tacit support from the current congress. The public has spoken, and has had some impact, but our government’s denial of climate change continues, the effort to shrink two national monuments continues, the cutting of park staff and budgets continues, allowing exploration of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge continues, and the threat to the Antiquities Act itself remains. 

However, this is the year of the mid-term elections. It is an understatement to say it will be interesting to see if these elections affect the nature of congress. All 435 seats in the house and one-third of the 100 senate seats are up for a fresh evaluation by the electorate. 

As the election season heats up, there may be a number of opportunities for us all to ask questions of those running for these seats, prior to the primaries and then later, for the seats themselves. I thought it would be interesting to list some questions that one might consider asking in some of these open meetings and quorums that will be occurring around in our vicinity. 

1) Do you think the climate is warming or do you deny it? If you agree it’s warming, what will you do about it? 

2) Do you think the USA should support the Paris Climate Accord? If yes, how will you try to make this happen?

3) Do you support the continued permanent protection of all of our existing national parks, national monuments, and wildlife refuges? If yes, what will you do about it when elected? Do you favor drilling in the ANWR?

4) Do you know what the Antiquities Act of 1906 says? Do you support letting this law stand or would you favor limiting it in any way? 

5) Do you know that the Department of the Interior is cutting their budget for public lands staff and devoting more resources to support energy exploration? Do you think this is appropriate or not? If inappropriate, since congress has the final say on spending, what will you do to change Interior’s budget priorities?

6) Do you know that the Federal Lands Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) of 1976 gives congress authority over the use and management of public lands? If yes, what would you do regarding the protection of existing national monuments? 

What would you do to protect Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante from Trumps executive order to shrink them?

7) Would you consider legislative action to create or expand any national parks, national monuments, or wildlife refuges? 

Thanks to all for your actions related to protecting the Ironwood Forest National Monument and other public lands. And thanks to you for any and all of your renewed efforts to be heard as this mid-term year unfolds.