Birthplace of Rivers Coalition Goes to Bat for Mon Forest
Thousands of West Virginians are disappointed President Obama and our state’s Congressional delegation did not work together to protect Birthplace of Rivers with a monument proclamation. But this will not dampen the Birthplace of Rivers Coalition’s resolve to permanently protect this unique part of West Virginia.
In fact, now is the time for us all to stand together against Congressional attacks on the Monongahela National Forest and all of our country’s public lands. On January 3, the first day of the new Congress, the House voted along party lines to change the way it budgets for transfers of public land. This rule says, in effect, that giving away our national forests and other public lands has no dollar impact on the federal government.
The move makes it much easier to give national lands that belong to all Americans to states. Cash-strapped states would invariably be pressured to sell or lease these lands for mining, drilling or logging — just to close budget shortfalls.
On the third day of Congress, Senator Capito sponsored a bill to eliminate presidential authority to designate national monuments. Who then can we turn to when our state delegation doesn’t provide leadership on valuable conservation and economic opportunities?
The most important thing we can do for Birthplace of Rivers right now is to rally together for public lands. We need to keep public lands in public hands.
Our West Virginia delegation has historically been supportive of public lands. In the coming months, we’ll all need to be active, vocal supporters of the lands we treasure. Stay tuned, we’ll need your help to protect our public lands!