The Biggest Election Wins And Losses For America’s Public Lands

by | Nov 12, 2022 | Politics

When President Joe Biden picked up the phone to congratulate certain Democrats on their victories in Tuesday’s midterm elections, he was wearing a baseball cap with the name of America’s newest protected landscape. Last month, Biden traveled to central Colorado to create Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument, which encompasses Camp Hale, a World War II-era military training site, and the nearby Tenmile Range. The designation, his first national monument as president, brought more than 50,000 federal acres under a new set of protections that bar new mining, drilling and other development.AdvertisementThat Biden donned a Camp Hale hat to make congratulatory phone calls “shows that he (and the political team) understood that public lands are a winning issue,” said Aaron Weiss, deputy director at the Colorado-based conservation group Center for Western Priorities. Asked about Tuesday’s biggest victories for public lands in the U.S., Weiss said, “Only slightly tongue-in-cheek: the hat.” Just got off the phone with some of tonight’s winners — including some folks I saw on the road this year.If you’re in line to vote, remember to stay in line!— President Biden (@POTUS) November 9, 2022

Americans overwhelmingly support public lands and waters and want to see them better protected, and this was evident at some polls this week. Advertisement“Voters care about public lands. Candidates who made the case for that were rewarded,” said Pete Maysmith, senior vice president for campaigns at the League of Conservation Voters. “Further action by the Biden administration and more members continuing to champion and speak up about public lands is good because we need to protect our public lands — it’s smart policy, and it’s smart politics.”Although some anti-conservation candidates punched a ticket to Congress, Maysmith and Weiss said there was a silver lining: Those races weren’t blowouts for Republicans, showing public land conservation remains a priority for voters in conservative states.Here’s a look at the biggest midterm wins and losses for America’s public lands: President Joe Biden shakes hands Oct. 12 with Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) as he speaks about protecting and conserving America’s iconic lands at Camp Hale, near Leadville, Colorado.Carolyn Kaster/Associated PressSen. Michael BennetSen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) was among those who got a call from Biden on Tuesday.Colorado’s senior senator lobbied the White House to establish Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument and campaigned on his record of working to fight climate change and safe …

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