Please join me to make sure Bernhardt is not confirmed as Sec. of Interior, so we can exercise their right to recreate in our public lands.

March 14, 2019

Oped by City Councilman Mike Dryden

Our national legacy of a million square miles of publicly owned lands makes America unique, but it’s being sacrificed to oil and gas interests, under the Trump administration’s acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt. Alaska is at risk. Our Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is the largest national wildlife refuge in the country.

As a veteran I consider it my duty to protect it for all Americans.

During the government shutdown, National Park employees couldn’t care for our public lands, but the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) never stopped furloughed workers from issuing permits in Alaska to special interests for development.

The shutdown rolled out a welcome mat for the oil and gas industry, while breaking multiple federal laws. Bernhardt used the government shutdown to ignore laws that protect our air, water, wildlife and public lands.

During the shutdown our National Parks lost an estimated $400,000 a day in entrance fees. Before the shutdown the park service already had a massive $11 billion maintenance backlog.

The people of Alaska maintain a special relationship with our environment that transcends ideology, party, and socio-economic station. That’s why I stand with the Elected Officials to Protect America’s Lands. We are the only group of serving elected officials who are also veterans, dedicated to preserving and protecting America’s public lands for all. By doing so we are continuing the Constitutional vows, we take as veterans and elected officials, to preserve and protect our nation.