WOW. January 2017 felt a bit like being hit by a freight train, a train that never bothered to slow down for the rest of the year. Big threats to the environment were unveiled at a whiplash-inducing pace. A Cabinet that denies climate change is real and believes in "alternative facts?" Check. The misnamed "Resilient Federal Forest Act" passing through Congress (currently with the Senate), set to hamstring the public process of engagement and open our National Forests to logging without environmental review? Check. The EPA being poisoned from the inside out by oil man Scott Pruitt? Also, check.
But perhaps the hardest to stomach is President Trump and Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's move to steal land from National Monuments, land owned by you and me, and open these cherished places to destructive extraction. Theft of public lands is no longer a shadowy threat. It's here, it's happening, and we fear this is only the beginning.
2017 wasn't without its moments of resistance, happiness, and celebration, though. Millions marched on Washington and around the country in support of science and women's rights. People picked up the telephone and called their elected representatives. And for us at Greater Hells Canyon Council, we got to celebrate our 50th Anniversary, rename and rebrand our organization, and grow our organization's staff and membership!
It's been a momentous and historic year. Yes, there are big challenges facing public lands and our mission area. But we are resolved to face these challenges with integrity and grit, and we know you are, too.
Thank you for caring about wild places. Thank you for standing up for science. Thank you for supporting our work!
We are wishing you the happiest of holidays and a wonderful New Year.