Colorado’s public lands are our most valuable resources. So many of the things that make this state unique—our diverse landscapes, our ski slopes and hiking trails and climbing crags, our natural and cultural history—continue to exist in large part thanks to our robust land conservation laws. Even more importantly, our public lands also provide invaluable ecosystem services; these areas have critical functions in regulating our climate and maintaining the health of our environment at large.
But our public lands are in danger. Not only are they especially vulnerable to the effects of climate change,1 they are also being sold off and exploited to produce the dirty energy that is speeding up their own destruction. Over the past decade, 40 percent of US coal and a quarter of our oil and natural gas were produced on public lands.2 Under the current administration, sales and leases of our lands have accelerated as the Interior Department shifts its priorities from conservation to energy development.
Once our lands have been sold, they’re gone forever. Fighting dirty energy and other resource extraction is imperative for the health of our lands, our climate, and our ability to ensure that future generations can enjoy the lands that they were promised. 350 Colorado’s Public Lands Committee is committed to this fight, to make sure that we keep that promise.

How Can You Take Action?

Send a letter to the Colorado State Land Board now, urging them to take leadership toward Colorado’s clean energy future. It is time to stop jeopardizing the health and safety of the environment and our communities, and to properly protect Colorado’s public lands for generations to come. 

Learn more about the State Land Board here. 

At 350 Colorado we’re working to keep fossil fuels in the ground, as well as to promote opportunities to transition to 100% renewable energy sources. The Colorado State Land Board is tasked with optimizing preservation and not maximizing revenue, while also prioritizing stewardship of public trust lands. However, 80% of the land board’s revenue is derived from fracking and oil and gas lease sales. Problems include lack of inspectors and adequate inspections on fracking operations, the issue of plugged and abandoned wells, and a need to re-envision the State Land Board mandate in order to move to a carbon-free future.

2019 is a strategic planning year for the Land Board and public input and attention has thus far been scant. That’s why in 2019 we are calling on the Colorado State Land Board for a new mandate to move toward a carbon free future. We believe the Colorado State Land Board needs to take leadership toward Colorado’s clean energy future.

Sources:
  1. https://www.washingtonpost.com/energy-environment/2018/09/25/climate-change-is-destroying-our-national-parks-an-alarming-rate-study-finds/?utm_term=.cebd54f090f5
  2. https://www.wilderness.org/articles/press-release/new-federal-report-says-public-lands-are-significant-source-us-greenhouse-gas-emissions
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