By this point, the news that Rep. Steve Pearce (NM02) has done something bad when it comes to America’s public lands is hardly earth shattering.
So, imagine our surprise when it became known over the holiday weekend that Pearce joined with 17 radical tea-party Republicans calling on Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke for the complete (nearly) undoing of national monuments all across the western United States.
Members of the so-called Western Caucus have for years been trying to dismantle land designations that protect important cultural and environmental resources within the 11 western states that compose the majority of land managed by the Bureau of Land Management. Led by stalwart Industry supporters like Rep. Rob Bishop of Utah, the Western Caucus has pushed back against national monuments, wilderness, and supported extreme radicals like Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and his ilk.
But what is a little surprising is this: Even this group of nearly 70 representatives has never gone so far as to call for the complete dismantling of protected public lands with such detail oriented calculation.
Under their plan, the following monuments would be reduced or completely removed:
But Pearce and just 16 out of over 70 members signed onto the letter calling on Zinke to shrink or completely remove up to 30 national monuments across the West.
What can we do?
1. ProgressNow has already joined forces with a number of organizations across the state with the #StepUpSteve campaign, calling on our congressman to listen to his constituents who overwhelmingly support protected public lands, want more and better access to those lands, and more support for renewable energy.
3. Please call Rep. Pearce’s offices and let him know that New Mexicans support our national monuments here in the state and all over the west.