State Lawmakers Hear Us Loud and Clear on SB 6140: Keep Public Lands Public

After hearing from hundreds of Washingtonians, state lawmakers removed bill provisions that would have made it easier to sell off our state's public lands.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
February 21, 2018
State Lawmakers Hear Us Loud and Clear on SB 6140: Keep Public Lands Public

Last week, the Public Lands Heist paid a surprise visit to Washington State in the form of an amendment to Senate Bill 6140. Today, after hearing from hundreds of concerned Washingtonians, the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee will remove the bill’s disconcerting public lands provisions.

The threat emerged as the bill was moving through the Washington State Legislature. Originally drafted to help manage the state’s tidelands, the bill was amended to force more logging and transfer publicly-owned state lands to counties or private owners.   

The Mountaineers and our partners at American Whitewater  and  Outdoor Alliance put together an action alert that rallied 180 people to ask their state representatives to remove the section of the bill calling for the sale of public lands. Our partner Conservation Northwest rallied another 450 people through their action alert. Washington Environmental Council also provided important leadership for this work. At the bill’s hearing in Olympia, conservation and outdoor recreation leaders provided testimony.  

Lawmakers weren’t expecting to hear from so many people, and they responded swiftly. The committee took a bipartisan 10-3 vote in favor of eliminating provisions that would undermine public lands. Thank you to Rep. Mike Chapman (24th District) who sponsored the amendment to strip the troubling public lands language from the bill. 

Thank you to everyone who contacted Your representatives!

As we’ve shared previously, we’re facing legislation, executive orders, and bureaucratic maneuvers all aimed at weakening public lands protections in favor of extractive industries and privatization.

Addressing these threats requires all of us to be vigilant and nimble. In the case of this bill, The Mountaineers worked quickly with partners to send out a call-to-action and to engage with lawmakers on behalf outdoor enthusiasts here in Washington State.

“This was impressive engagement in a short amount of time,” says Mountaineers CEO Tom Vogl, “It speaks to what’s possible when public lands champions answer the call-to-action and make their voices heard.”

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Monica Fisk
Monica Fisk says:
Feb 22, 2018 02:52 PM

Yes! Thanks everyone for speaking out!