AUGUST 20, 2019 BY 

From the Steamboat Pilot & Today | August 20, 2019

Last year Steamboat Springs greeted former U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke with a strong and unified voice. Not long after that, Zinke resigned in disgrace. We recognize that his replacement David Bernhardt is even more dangerous because he understands law and government more acutely. We won’t allow Secretary Bernhardt to deny and suppress science, put our public lands up for sale and disregard public input.

Bernhardt continues to carry on a corrupt legacy meddled with conflict of interest. As a former oil and gas lobbyist, it’s no surprise that he is visiting our community to attend an exclusive gala of the donor class. Be that as it may, Bernhardt serves all of us.

Secretary Bernhardt, Steamboat Springs is rooted on the indigenous homeland of the Ute people. Vast open meadows and snow-packed mountains support a vibrant ranching community and expanding recreational mecca. We’re nestled in expansive public lands. We take our friends and family to share experiences and create memories on public lands. Our connection to lands makes us concerned for the future.

Secretary Bernhardt, your leadership hints at privatization of public lands and clearly emphasizes energy dominance over all other needs. The actions of this Administration are alarming and so we are calling for action.

First, the Interior just announced “improvements” to the Endangered Species Act. They are anything but improvements. The new rule puts a dollar figure over imperiled species vs. the development of something like a gondola being built into the Grand Canyon.

Second, Bernhardt illegally tapped William Perry Pendley to lead the Bureau of Land Management. Pendley was central to the reduction of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and is an active proponent of privatizing public lands.

Finally, Bernhardt is gaslighting the public regarding moving the BLM leadership, which we should not be fooled by. It’s a veiled attempt to dismantle the agency and cripple its ability to manage land.

In response to Secretary Bernhardt’s visit, we’re holding an inclusive and free event on the front lawn of the downtown Routt County Courthouse at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 23. We welcome Secretary Bernhardt to engage and come visit with us outside the Freedom Conference. After all, you and your security detail are traveling on the taxpayer’s dime.

Join us. Check out the Stand For Our Land Facebook event to get involved with the rally.

Cody Perry

Steamboat Springs