Eco-Integrity Alliance, a new coalition of U.S. environmentalists uniting the environmental movement, along with 20 leading conservation organizations, sent a letter today to Rep. Joe Neguse, chair of the U.S. House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, asking him to schedule a new Congressional hearing for the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act (NREPA).
NREPA—already introduced into the House with 58 co-sponsors and in the Senate with 11 co-sponsors—would create biological zones connecting new and existing wilderness and roadless areas over 23 million acres across Idaho, Montana, Washington, Oregon, and Wyoming.
Rep. Neguse recently canceled a planned hearing on this historic and timely bill without any explanation or transparency.
“If Rep. Neguse is serious about tackling climate change and addressing the eco-crisis, he must allow public testimony for NREPA, which is not only of crucial importance for protecting the unique and threatened Northern Rockies bioregion but can act as a model for every region of the U.S.,” says Josh Schlossberg, Colorado-based steering committee member of Eco-Integrity Alliance.
Containing some of the most ecologically rich lands left in the U.S., National Forests and Bureau of Land Management areas filter clean water, prevent flooding and erosion, provide fish and wildlife habitat, and are some of our best buffers against climate change. These federally owned lands are still open to extraction from private corporations in the form of logging, mining, drilling, and grazing, with a recent study showing that logging emits more carbon than wildfire and insects combined.
Eco-Integrity Alliance’s mission is to unite the “alternative” environmental movement under a big tent of ecological integrity through common campaigns of mutual support. Eco-Integrity Alliance’s six-person steering committee members are based in Montana, Idaho, Oregon, and Colorado. Guiding Principles and other info can be found at eco-integrityalliance.org.