Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act Would Gut the Wilderness Act and Public Lands Protections!
Every unit of the National Wilderness Preservation System threatened
All hands on deck Wilderness Watchers! The most virulent, anti-wilderness Congress in history is at it again!
We’ve just completed a brand new analysis of the "Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act of 2017" and it's crystal clear that this bill is nothing more than a thinly disguised measure to gut the 1964 Wilderness Act and the protections afforded to every unit of America’s 110 million-acre National Wilderness Preservation System.
The SHARE Act (H.R. 3668) had a legislative hearing in the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee on September 12, 2017, and as expected, the bill passed out of Committee on a party-line 22-13 vote. The bill text is available here.
Our new analysis of the SHARE Act also corresponds with a leaked memo McClatchy obtained and reported on recently that found the Trump Administration has so far prevented the National Park Service from voicing its serious concerns over the National Rifle Association (NRA)-backed SHARE Act. When the Park Service shared such concerns in a memo to the Department of Interior (DOI), the DOI responded by crossing out the Park Service's comments, and the agency was told not to go to Congress.
H.R. 3668 would give hunting, fishing, recreational shooting, and state fish and wildlife agency goals top priority in Wilderness, rather than protecting the areas’ wilderness character, as has been the case for over 50 years.
The SHARE Act would allow endless, extensive habitat manipulations in Wilderness under the guise of "wildlife conservation" and for providing hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting experiences. This completely undermines the fundamental tenet of the Wilderness Act, that Wilderness is a place “untrammeled by man.”
The Act would also allow the construction of "temporary" roads in protected Wilderness areas to facilitate such uses and would allow the construction of dams, buildings, or other structures within Wildernesses.
Taken in combination, the provisions in the SHARE Act would completely undermine the protections that wilderness designation should provide, and dramatically weaken wilderness conservation for the entire 110 million-acre National Wilderness Preservation System.
The SHARE Act would also exempt road, dam, and building projects within protected Wilderness areas from the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) – eliminating critical environmental analysis of potential impacts and alternatives, and public comment and involvement.
Sadly, the SHARE Act would eviscerate the letter, spirit, and fundamental ideals expressed in the Wilderness Act. While the Wilderness Act prohibits the use of motorized vehicles or equipment and the building of roads and other structures, the SHARE Act essentially throws Wilderness areas wide open to motorized use by agency managers and a nearly unlimited variety of wilderness-damaging manipulations and developments.
Make no mistake – Wilderness as we know it will cease to exist if the SHARE Act becomes law!
The anti-wilderness provisions in the SHARE Act must not be enacted into law!
Wilderness Watch and supporters like you have often been the last line of defense standing between America's National Wilderness Preservation System and those who would harm it.
Together, with your help, we’ll continue fighting anti-wilderness and wildlife-destroying proposals in Congress, in order to defend the Wilderness and public lands we all love.
Please TAKE ACTION to protect and defend the Wilderness Act and America's wildest public lands!
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THANK YOU for taking action and asking your members of Congress to oppose all the anti-Wilderness provisions in the SHARE Act!
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