Capital Watch

Capital Watch is a rapid response advocacy tool to defend public lands and bedrock environmental protections. It is designed to help you hold Congress and the Trump administration accountable and stop in their tracks any attempts to sell off public lands, gut bedrock environmental laws, or roll back significant progress already made on climate and protections for wildlife and wildlands. Citizen activism has never been more important. Act today! (To receive important alerts, sign up here)

Target: Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke (pronounced zin-key)
ActionSubmit a letter to Interior Secretary Zinke, or call him at 202-208-7351 (Office of the Secretary) or 202-208-6291 (Office of the Deputy Secretary). Tell him to keep protections for Bears Ears National Monument.
Key messages: Tell Secretary Zinke not to eliminate or shrink any national monuments, including Bears Ears in Utah.

  1. I am calling to leave a message for Secretary Zinke about the executive order to review national monuments, particularly Bears Ears. Please let the Secretary know I don’t want to see any change to Bears Ears and he needs to listen to the vast majority of Americans who support protecting monuments, parks and public lands.
  2. Bears Ears and other archeological sites deserve the protections given to them and any change in their boundary would rob our children of their heritage.
  3. National monuments protect some of the most scenic and sacred lands in America. An attack on any monument is a threat to all our national parks, monuments and public lands. I urge the secretary to listen to the American people and maintain protections for these special places.


Target: Senator Cory Gardner
Action:  Call Sen. Gardner: (202) 224-5941 or (970) 245-9553 or (303) 391-5777 
Key messages: Let Sen. Gardner know that ending the rule that limits methane leaks and waste is not in our best interests

  1. I’m calling to ask Sen. Gardner to oppose any attempts to roll back the Bureau of Land Management’s natural gas waste rule.
  2. I do not want oil and gas companies to waste natural gas or leak methane from operations conducted on public land. The current rule is necessary to protect clean air.
  3. The current rule is good for taxpayers. I want the public to continue to receive royalties for natural gas produced on public lands.
  4. Already since 2013, over $1.5 billion worth of natural gas has been wasted. Loosening oversight will increase waste. Keep the rule in tact.
  5. Wiping out carefully constructed standards at the whim of the oil and gas industry endangers our climate, pollutes our air, and costs American taxpayers money. Please do not vote to dismantle this important rule.

Target: The Bureau of Land Management, Secretary Ryan Zinke
Action:  Call the BLM (202) 912-7790
Key messages: Tell the BLM oil and gas development shouldn’t be prioritized over other uses on public lands like recreation and conservation.

  1. I am concerned and upset about the leaked BLM priority document that prioritizes oil and gas development over all other uses on public lands. The BLM should work for all citizens of the country not just the oil and gas industry.
  2. I spend a lot of time on BLM land with my family and don’t want to see the oil and gas industry given priority over ordinary citizens on public lands.
  3. The BLM should honor the National Environmental Policy Act. The recently leaked BLM document that directs staff to speed up or circumvent the NEPA process is extremely concerning to me. NEPA ensures that ordinary citizens have a voice and land management decisions aren’t dominated by extractive industries.

Target: Sen. Cory Gardner
Action:  Call Sen. Gardner: (970) 245-9553 or (303) 391-5777 or (202) 224-5941
Key messages: Thank Senator Gardner for introducing legislation to permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which disperses millions of dollars to Colorado’s open spaces.

  1. I am calling to thank Senator Gardner for co-sponsoring legislation to permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
  2. The Land and Water Conservation Fund helps conserve and create new parks, open space, and wildlife habitat, and is critically important to my community.
  3. I hope Senator Gardner will support similar legislation to protect new wilderness areas and protect National Monuments.


Target: Sen. Cory Gardner
Action:  Call Sen. Gardner: (970) 245-9553 or (303) 391-5777 or (202) 224-5941
Key messages: Ask Sen. Gardner to oppose any action to open the Arctic Refuge to oil and gas drilling.

  1. Hi, I’m calling to urge Senator Gardner to oppose any efforts to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to energy development.
  2. Oil and gas drilling in the arctic would have devastating impacts on this pristine and fragile ecosystem caused by the massive infrastructure needed to extract and transport the oil. Senator Gardner should oppose any oil and gas drilling there.
  3. Please support the recently introduced bill to protect the Coastal Plain of the Arctic Refuge as wilderness. This is one of the most important things you can do to protect public lands.
  4. Oil and gas drilling and accompanying air, water and noise pollution would threaten the existence of wildlife and harm indigenous populations that rely on this ecosystem for subsistence hunting in the Arctic. Senator Gardner should oppose any oil and gas drilling there.

Target: Rep. Scott Tipton
Action:  Call Scott Tipton, 970.241.2499 (Junction), 970.259.1490 (Durango), 202.225.4761 (D.C.)
Key messages: Ask Rep. Tipton not to co-sponsor or vote for either of these bills that would undermine protections for public lands.

  1. I’m calling to ask Congressman Tipton not to co-sponsor or vote for either H.R. 232 or 1349. Both bills would undermine critical protections for forests and wilderness areas.
  2. During the campaign and more recently you have stated your support for keeping public lands public. H.R. 232 could transfer tens of millions of acres of Forest Service land to the states for logging, reducing public access and eliminating important protections.
  3. Wilderness Areas are a critical way to protect Colorado’s most iconic landscapes, H.R. 1349 would undermine these protections and betray the work of local citizens who have crafted community oriented bills like the Hermosa Creek bill you worked to pass.

Target: Rep. Scott Tipton
Action:  Call Scott Tipton, 970.241.2499 (Junction), 970.259.1490 (Durango), 202.225.4761 (D.C.)
Key messages: Let Rep. Tipton know that transferring law enforcement on public lands by the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management to local sheriff’s departments is a bad idea, and will likely result in these laws not being enforced.

  1. I’m calling to ask you to vote no on H.R. 622. Law enforcement on public lands is a specialized job and should remain in the most capable hands the Forest Service and BLM.
  2. The destruction of archaeological sites, timber theft, drug trafficking, illegal immigration, wildlife poaching and catastrophic wildfires cannot be policed by local sheriff’s departments. These crimes will most likely not be pursued if the BLM and Forest Service lost law enforcement capabilities. I’m calling to ask Mr. Tipton to vote “no” on H.R. 622.
  3. Don’t jeopardize my public lands by turning law enforcement over to local agencies. They won’t be equipped to enforce laws that protect public lands. I’m calling to ask Mr. Tipton to vote “no” on H.R. 622.




On March 6th the Senate voted to eliminate BLM’s Planning 2.0 Rule. We were disappointed to hear that the Senate attacked this democratic provision that would have allowed better opportunities for participation by the American people on their public lands.

Planning 2.0 would have provided three new and important opportunities for stakeholders to learn about and comment on land use plans as they are being developed. This means that states and counties, scientists, ranchers, hunters and anglers, miners, hikers, boaters, and all the other varied users of our public lands could more effectively participate in the planning process and help guide the way our shared lands are managed.

Planning 2.0 also included steps to ensure that important fish and wildlife habitats, such as migration corridors and undisturbed refuge areas, were identified early in the planning process so these important areas were not overlooked as the agency makes decisions about development, recreation and other public land uses.

In early 2017, Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz introduced a bill to sell 3.3 million acres of our public lands to the highest bidder. The outcry from folks like you across the country was loud and swift and as a result Congressman Chaffetz pulled his bill citing the lack of support from folks who care about public lands.

Target: Senator Cory Gardner
Action: Call Sen. Gardener: (970) 245-9553
Key messages: Thanks Sen. Gardner for his continued support of  National Monuments

  1. I’m calling to thank Sen. Gardner for NOT co-sponsoring Senate Bill 33 which would gut the Antiquities Act.
  2. I’m glad to see Mr. Gardner continue his support of the Antiquities Act. Senate Bill 33 would make it almost impossible to designate new National Monuments, which have led to the creation of numerous National Parks.
  3. Places like Colorado National Monument, the Grand Canyon, the Grand Tetons, Olympic National Park were all protected as monuments and are beloved by all Americans. It would be a disaster to change the Antiquities Act in any way that made it harder to protect special places like these.


Issue: PUBLIC LAND SEIZUREPublic-Lands-for-Sale-web
Target: Congressman Scott Tipton
Action: Call Rep. Tipton: (970) 241-2499
Key messages: Let Tipton know transferring public lands is unacceptable.

  1. I am calling to let Congressman Tipton know I’m very disappointed he voted for the house rules package that makes it significantly easier to sell or transfer public lands.
  2. During the campaign Mr. Tipton repeatedly said he was an advocate of public lands; his vote directly contradicts these statements and paves the way for a public lands transfer or sale.
  3. I am calling to ask that Mr. Tipton pledge never again to vote for any provision that facilitates or enables the transfer or sale of public lands.
  4. Public lands are crucial to the economy in Mr. Tipton’s District. I never want to see them sold or transferred to the states.


Donald Trump nominated Oklahoma attorney General, Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. Mr. Pruitt has sued the EPA numerous times, siding with industry over the health of our children. His lawsuits sought to enable polluters to emit more mercury, smog, and methane. Mr. Pruitt’s views on climate change, clean air and clean water are a direct threat to our children’s health and future and Colorado’s snow based economy . On February 17th the Senate confirmed Scott Pruitt as administrator of the EPA. Senator Bennet voted against his confirmation, Senator Gardner voted for his confirmation and against a livable future and climate justice.
While the vote has already happened please call Senator Cory Gardner at: (970) 245-9553 to express you disappointment in his vote against the interests of our children and Colorado.