Elected Officials to Protect America’s Public Lands

Every American deserves the opportunity to enjoy our public lands.

The mission of Elected Officials to Protect America’s Public Lands is to protect watersheds and groundwater thereby keeping the land vibrant for future generations.

Launched in September 2018, Elected Officials to Protect America’s Public Lands organized 80 bipartisan lawmakers, who are veterans from all 50 states, to sign a letter to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to support the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). In January of 2019 reauthorization of LWCF was signed into law.

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Here is the letter that we delivered to Secretary Zinke as part of our mission to protect America's public lands:


  • Featured petition

    Sign to protect our public land and water

    GOAL: 80 signatures

    Hon. Ryan Zinke
    Department of the Interior
    1849 C Street, N.W.
    Washington DC 20240

    June 7, 2018

    Dear Secretary Zinke,

    We, the undersigned, are elected officials who represent every state in the United States. We are veterans who took an oath to serve and protect America — our Constitution, our people, and our nation's land.

    For more than 50 years Land and Water Conservation Fund, (LWCF), grants have contributed to infrastructure developments and conservation measures that protect and enhance our national parks, national forests, monuments, wildlife refuges, and over 40,000 state and local park projects across our nation. 

    After coming back from a deployment or a set of orders, being able to relax and enjoy our public lands with family and friends is an important and wonderful part of coming home. Many of us kept the tradition of hiking, fishing, hunting and relaxing by the water after transitioning into the civilian world - and passed it onto our children. It is important to protect our public lands for years to come so that our children and grandchildren will be able to enjoy America's lands. 

    Our national treasures drive the economy in rural communities. They attract families, employees, businesses, and entrepreneurs, which desire a quality of life that only comes from being in close proximity to public lands.

    One of the fastest growing sectors of our economy is outdoor recreation, which contributes $887 billion and supports 7.6 million jobs. A Bureau of Economic Analysis study found that the outdoor recreation economy was growing at 3.8 percent. Every $1 of LWCF funds invested results in a return of $4 in economic value.

    The bipartisan LWCF is one of our most successful conservation programs because it draws on funds from offshore oil and gas royalties, not taxpayers, to expand, develop, and improve public lands for recreational areas, conservation, and the preservation of natural ecosystems.

    Unfortunately, funding for this more than 50-year program runs out at the end of September 2018. Many of the land deals that LWCF helps support locally can be complicated real estate transactions that involve private landowners, local governments, federal and state officials, banks and local charities. These deals can take years and stakeholders need to plan with clarity.

    Generations of Americans have visited our public lands. For many, these trips have become annual pilgrimages connecting families with our country’s roots while creating lasting memories. Our land is intrinsic to who we are as people.

    We urge you to do all that you can to ensure the continued reauthorization of the LWCF at its full amount to ensure prosperous investments in America’s battlefields, monuments, and all public lands.

    We all need the LWCF funds to continue to expand, develop, and improve public lands for recreational areas, conservation, the preservation of natural ecosystems and our national heritage.

    Very Respectfully,

    County Supervisor Ted Alejandre California, Air Force

    Rep. John Gannon
    Idaho, Army

    Sen. Antonio Muñoz
    Illinois, Army

    Rep. Robert Alley Sr.
    Maine, Navy

    Rep. Jim Gartner
    Kansas, Marines

    Sen. Josh Newman
    California, Army

    Rep. Joseph Almeida
    Rhode Island, Marines

    Rep. Neal Goodman
    Pennsylvania, Marines

    Sen. Clarence Nishihara
    Hawaii, Army

    Assembly Member Elliot Anderson
    Nevada, Marines

    Rep Bill Hitchens
    Georgia, Marines

    Assembly Member Felix Ortiz
    New York, Army

    Rep. Richard Andrade
    Arizona, Air Force

    Rep. Timothy Horrigan
    New Hampshire, USACE

    Sen. Catherine Osten
    Connecticut, Army

    Delegate John Bell
    Virginia, Air Force

    Rep. Pam Hunter
    New York, Army

    Sen. Stephan Pappas
    Wyoming, National Guard

    Rep. César Blanco
    Texas, Navy

    Delegate Richard Iaquinta
    West Virgina, Army

    Rep. Antonio Parkinson
    Tennessee, Marines

    Sen. Larry Boggs
    Oklahoma, Air Force

    Mayor Gary Jarvis
    Florida, Air Force

    Sen. David Parks
    Nevada, Air Force

    Sen. David Bradley
    Arizona, Navy

    Mayor Richard Kerr
    California, Marines

    Rep. John Persell
    Minnesota, Air Force

    Rep. Tom Burch
    Kentucky, Navy

    Council Member John Marc Knight
    Utah, Army

    Rep. David Potter
    Vermont, Air Force

    Rep. Mark Cardenas
    Arizona, Army

    Sen. Rick Kolowski
    Nebraska, Marines

    Sen. Ronald Rice
    New Jersey, Marines

    Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia
    Illinois, Army

    Assembly Member Al Kramer
    Nevada, Army

    Sen. Arthur Rusch
    South Dakota, Army

    Sen. Frank Ciccone III
    Rhode Island, Army

    Sen. Carlo Leone
    Connecticut, Air Force

    Rep. Randy Rushing
    Mississippi, Air Force

    Rep. Herb Conaway Jr.
    New York, Air Force

    School Board Simone Lightfoot
    Michigan, Air Force

    Rep. Nick L. Salazar
    New Mexico, Air Force

    Sen. Ronnie Cromer
    South Carolina, Army/Nat'l Guard

    Rep. Thomas Longstaff
    Maine, Marines

    Rep. Debra Marie Sariana
    New Mexico, Air Force

    Sen. Jeff Danielson
    Iowa, Navy

    Assembly Member William
    Magnarelli New York, Army Reserve

    Rep. Dean Schamore
    Kentucky, Navy

    Sen. Gerald Dial
    Alabama, Army/National Guard

    Sen. Richard Marcellais
    North Dakota, Army

    Rep. Michael Sheehy
    Ohio, Army

    Council Member Mike Dryden
    Alaska, Army

    Rep. Grier Martin
    North Carolina, Army

    Sen. Frank Smith
    Montana, Air Force

    Rep. Larry Dunphy
    Maine, Navy

    Sen. Fred S.  Martin
    Idaho, National Guard

    Sen. Gregory Tarver
    Louisiana, Army

    Rep. Mark Ellebracht
    Missouri, Army

    Sen. Fred Martin
    Idaho, National Guard

    Rep. Jose Tosado
    Massachusetts, Navy

    Sen. Bruce Ennis
    Delaware, National Guard

    Rep. Stephen McCarter
    Pennsylvania, Army Reserve

    Rep. Joseph Troiano
    Vermont, Army

    Rep. Paul Evans
    Oregon, Air Force/National Guard

    Sen. John McCoy
    Washington, Air Force

    Council Member John Villegas
    California, Army

    Rep. Dave Fern
    Montana, Coast Guard

    Rep. James McLaughlin
    Rhode Island, Army

    Rep. David Whitaker
    Arkansas, Air Force

    Del. Robert Flanagan,
    Maryland, Navy

    Council Member Benito Barrios,
    California, Marines 

    Rep. Rodolpho S. Martinez,
    New Mexico, Air Force

    Rep. Gary Howell,
    Michigan, Army

    Rep. Alex Cornell du Houx
    Maine, Marines/Navy

    Rep. Chuck Moseley
    Indiana, National Guard

    Rep Michael Finn
    Massachusetts, National Guard

    Sen. Mark Miller
    Wisconsin, National Guard

    Delegate Pat Young
    Maryland, Marines

    Council Member Ken Zornes
    Colorado, Army
    Rep. Larry Gagne
    New Hampshire, Navy


    Will you sign?