Commentary: LAS CRUCES – This week, Representative Steve Pearce once again voted against protecting our public lands. An amendment that would have kept public lands from being transferred to private ownership was killed thanks to the help of Pearce and public land seizure proponents in the House.
Representative Jared Polis, a Democrat from Colorado, introduced an amendment on an Interior Department funding bill that would have blocked funding to initiate any federal land transfers, disposals, or sales that were not in the public interest or were not part of Federal Lands Transfer Facilitation Act. This amendment would have effectively made public land transfer more difficult. With its failure, the possibility is still available to public land seizure proponents to sell off the lands that belong to all Americans to the highest bidder.
By voting against this amendment, Representative Pearce is again saying it is preferable to sell off our public lands to the highest bidder, going against what the vast majority of New Mexicans want. While we condemn Pearce’s vote, the New Mexico Wildlife Federation applauds Representatives Ben Ray Lujan and Michelle Lujan Grisham for voting in favor of the amendment.
“Once again, Representative Pearce has shown that he does not value our public lands, traditions, and the constituents he’s supposed to be representing,” said New Mexico Wildlife Federation Executive Director Garrett Vene Klasen. “Making it impossible to sell off our public lands would be good for the economy in Pearce’s district and good for the community. So why did Pearce vote this way?”
Unfortunately, this vote is consistent with Pearce’s unpopular views on public lands. We encourage all New Mexicans to continue to stand with our public lands.