The quick repeal of H.R. 621 is proof that advocacy works. Outdoor Alliance’s Tania Lown-Hecht quarterbacked the outdoor user community’s effort to defeat the bill. Here, she explains the game plan and offers play-by-play.
By Jessica Wahl, Outdoor Industry Association
Several years ago, Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) introduced a bill that proposed the sell-off of 3.3 million acres of public lands. The bill gained little traction, was reintroduced several times, and stalled in the House. But, last month, amid renewed threats by the incoming Congress to sell or transfer our national lands, Chaffetz reintroduced the bill. Outdoorists from around the country were outraged and afraid that the public land heist might become a reality. Thanks to the vigilance of concerned outdooists and the leadership of OIA partner organizations like Outdoor Alliance and Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, democracy won. Yesterday Chaffetz announced on his Facebook and Twitter accounts that he had heard the public opposition and that he would withdraw H.R. 621.
In a blog post this morning, Outdoor Alliance gave due credit to the outdoor community: “Over 4,000 of you wrote letters to your lawmakers, and thousands more have called their lawmakers’ offices to voice their support for public lands. Along with outdoor recreation advocates, sportsmen and outdoor businesses were vocal in their opposition to these bills. This unusually intense outpouring of support for public lands had a real impact.”
We feel Outdoor Alliance deserves more credit than they’re taking for the organized and effective opposition. So we reached out to Outdoor Alliance’s Communications Director Tania Lown-Hecht, a graduate of OIA’s Skip Yowell Future Leadership Academy, to applaud and learn about OA’s strategy for engaging and activating the movement.