Dear Representative,

Subject:  H.R. 3225, Restoring Community Input and Public Protections in Oil and Gas Leasing Act

We are writing on behalf of over 1,700 members of the Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks (Coalition), a non-profit organization composed of retired, former, or current employees of the National Park Service (NPS). The Coalition studies, educates, speaks, and acts for the preservation of America’s national park system. As a group we collectively represent over 40,000 years of experience managing and protecting America’s most precious and important natural and historic resources. Among our members are former NPS directors, regional directors, superintendents, resource specialists, rangers, maintenance and administrative staff, and a full array of other former employees, volunteers, and supporters.

Today we are reaching out to ask for your support and co-sponsorship of H.R. 3225, Restoring Community Input and Public Protections in Oil and Gas Leasing Act. This legislation would go a long way toward fixing a broken federal oil and gas leasing system that continues to damage national parks across our country every day. Oil and gas development is a dominant use of our public lands and has been for decades. But under this administration, the threats posed to our National Park System has only increased as the Department of the Interior has pushed the Bureau of Land Management to lease more often and with less environmental analysis. Other uses of federal public lands such as conservation and recreation have been brushed aside and the public has increasingly been cut out of the leasing process.

As written, H.R. 3225 would accomplish four main priorities to ensure our parks and the landscapes that surround them are properly protected from oil and gas development:

  • Protect natural and cultural resources – H.R. 3225 would restore Master Leasing Plans, a collaborative planning process instituted in 2010 and one of the most important tools we had available to protect landscapes adjacent to national parks before this administration did away with them. Under the framework of a Master Leasing Plan, stakeholders would come together to jointly determine the best way to manage federal lands across a landscape to protect multiple uses and ensure that special places such as national parks would not be harmed by development. This legislation would codify in law the ability for federal land managers to develop Master Leasing Plans.
  • Restore and increase public participation – Under this administration, the public continues to have reduced opportunities for input in the decision-making processes when it comes to oil and gas development on public lands, and parks have suffered because of it. By shortening public comment periods, cutting protest period times, and making environmental review optional, this administration has limited the ability of park advocates to weigh in when parks will be negatively impacted by lease sales. This legislation would restore those processes to ensure that public participation is robust and inclusive.
  • Improve Transparency – H.R. 3225 would require companies that nominate oil and gas parcels for leasing to disclose their identities. The nomination process currently allows the nominating party to remain anonymous, which precludes the public from knowing who is interested in drilling on public lands. Increased transparency would greatly benefit park advocates who deserve to know who intends to drill and what their record is.
  • Ensure fair market value for use of public lands – Finally, the bill would bring the federal oil and gas leasing fiscal policies into the 21st century and more in line with the rates that states charge for similar development on state land. Under the status quo, a company can anonymously nominate land next to a national park without paying a fee; purchase that lease outright for a mere $1.50 if no one else bids on it; then develop that land and pay bargain basement royalty rates depriving the American taxpayer of a fair return. This legislation would address all those components by increasing rates for leases, royalties, and minimum bids.

The Coalition has and will continue to play an active role in identifying and commenting on federal oil and gas leasing proposals that could negatively impact national parks. America’s public lands are owned by all its citizens. As such, an appropriate federal oil and gas leasing process should reflect this by being open to public involvement and transparent about the commercial interests seeking to drill for oil and gas on public lands. Yet this administration has made it increasingly difficult for the public to engage in that process, all while mandating increased lease sales in every state across the West.

In closing, we seek your support of legislation that would significantly improve the current federal oil and gas leasing process and ensure that our national parks and public lands are properly protected and conserved for the benefit of both current and future generations. H.R. 3225 will help restore balance to the process and ensure our public lands are managed for all Americans and visitors to enjoy.

Thank you for considering our views.


The Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks Executive Council:

Philip A. Francis, Jr., ChairDonald J. Hellmann
Brenda BarrettBob Mackreth
Sarah BransomDouglas K. Morris
Maria BurksMichael B. Murray
Mark A. ButlerJim Northup
David M. GraberRichard Ring
Rebecca Harriett


Members of the Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks:

Peter D. Armington
Talkeetna, Alaska

John M Morris
Eagle River, Alaska

Janis Kozlowski
Anchorage, Alaska

Wendy Artz
King Salmon, Alaska

Elwood Ly.
Talkeetna, Alaska

William J. Pierce
Prescott Valley, Arizona

Ken Phillips
Flagstaff, Arizona

Robert Arnberger
Tucson, Arizona

Scott Sticha
Hereford, Arizona

Timothy Dwayne Collier
Scottsdale, Arizona

J. W. Wade
Tucson, Arizona

Deborah O. Liggett
Tucson, Arizona

Carol Kruse
Flagstaff, Arizona

Elaine G Grace
Marana, Arizona

Peter K. Nigh
Prescott, Arizona

Bradley S. Traver
St David, Arizona

Richard Smith
Tucson, Arizona

Dennis Burnett
Tucson, Arizona

Michael Tollefson
Scottsdale, Arizona

Charles B. Wahler
Flagstaff, Arizona

Michael J. Ebersole
Williams, Arizona

Bruce D. McKeeman
Prescott, Arizona

Jared Cohen
Scottsdale, Arizona

Mark Ruggiero
Buckeye, Arizona

Don Castleberry
Maumelle, Arkansas

Carl E Hinrichs
Harrison, Arkansas

Daphne Hatch
Novato, California

Don L. Neubacher
Point Reyes Station, California

Susan Hurst
San Rafael, California

Amy Meyer
San Francisco, California

Edwin Hession
Los Angeles, California

Daniel E Sealy
Trinidad, California

Carolyn L. Knoll
Orinda, California

Stephen Warren Underwood
Hydesville, California

B. J. Griffin
Grass Valley, California

Wendy Lieber Poinsot
San Francisco, California

Donald Fox
Mariposa, California

Gary Everett Davis
Thousand Oaks, California

John Bielenberg
Berkeley, California

Robert G. White
Squaw Valley, California

Thomas Allen Smith
San Jose, California

Thomas H. Wilson
Napa, California

Jonathan Warner Bayless
Davis, California

Richard E Wells
Palm Springs, California

Carol Linnig
Estes Park, Colorado

Denis Davis
Montrose, Colorado

William R Morris
Dolores, Colorado

Douglas DeNio
Loveland, Colorado

Roberta Barrows
Colorado Springs, Colorado

Michael Rees
Lakewood, Colorado

Jerry M. Mitchell
Littleton, Colorado

Janet Wise
Lakewood, Colorado

John K. Apel
Montrose, Colorado

Rick Jones
Ridgway, Colorado

David D. Roberts
Montrose, Colorado

Katherine C. Ziegenfus
Lakewood, Colorado

Ronald Thoman
Denver, Colorado

Erik R. Hauge
Erie, Colorado

Ryan Anndevoy
Loveland, Colorado

Larry N Kilborn
Evergreen, Colorado

Dick Falb
Lakewood, Colorado

Anne Worthington
Cortez, Colorado

Elizabeth a. Janes
Mancos, Colorado

Thomas A. Cherry
Loveland, Colorado

Joseph Sovcik
Fort Collins, Colorado

Carla Louise McConnell
Denver, Colorado

Carl John Douhan
Littleton, Colorado

William Jackson
Fort Collins, Colorado

Jonathan B Halpern
Buena Vista, Colorado

Peter E. Baril
Colorado Springs, Colorado

Frank P. Weed
Colorado Springs, Colorado

J. Douglas Cuillard
Arvada, Colorado

Kim Sikoryak
Golden, Colorado

Eric Sandstrom
Fraser, Colorado

Alan Scot McElveen
Cortez, Colorado

Sharon C. Miles
Denver, Colorado

Patrick H. Reed
Fort Collins, Colorado

Robert W Reynolds
Fruita, Colorado

James Campbell, PhD
Glenwood Springs, Colorado

Clyde Stonaker
Fort Collins, Colorado

John Chapman
Littleton, Colorado

Margaret l Dolinich
Colorado Springs, Colorado

Wendell Wayne Gardner
Colorado Springs, Colorado

Stephen W. Syphax
Washington, District of Columbia

Amy Fehir
Washington, District of Columbia

Richard M. Bryant
St. Augustine, Florida

Paul B. Cole III
Kissimmee, Florida

Oron L. Bass, Jr
High Springs, Florida

Cheryl Houghtelin
West Palm Beach, Florida

William F. Loftus
Vero Beach, Florida

Terry Savage
Naples, Florida

James Phillip Corless
Nokomis, Florida

Harry A. DeLashmutt
DeLand, Florida

Lynn R. Wightman
Penney Farms, Florida

Walter F Allen
Lawrenceville, Georgia

Joseph Lee Boyle
Athens, Georgia

Linda Finn
Gainesville, Georgia

Richard W. Frost
Cleveland, Georgia

Leon Lamar Folsom, Jr.
Atlanta, Georgia

Donald E. Magee
Mililani, Hawaii

Daniel Taylor
Volcano, Hawaii

Richard A. Rasp
Mountain View, Hawaii

Michael C. Warren
Boise, Idaho

Robert L Peterson
Boise, Idaho

Terry Michael Di Mattio
Driggs, Idaho

Roberta B. D’Amico
Boise, Idaho

Diane E. Banta
Chicago Heights, Illinois

Robert W Blythe
Chicago, Illinois

Phyllis Ellin
Chicago, Illinois

Debra Levie
Chicago, Illinois

Mary Dorinda Partsch
Chesterton, Indiana

William C Walters
Nashville, Indiana

George B. Hartzog
Bloomington, Indiana

Norman D. Hellmers
Valparaiso, Indiana

Christine L. Korsmo
West Branch, Iowa

Neil Korsmo
West Branch, Iowa

Jack E Stark
Wichita, Kansas

Sue Pridemore
Council Bluffs, Iowa

Kenneth E. Apschnikat
Bowling Green, Kentucky

Chuck Bloomingburg
Paducah, Kentucky

Lynn D. Jamison
Louisville, Kentucky

Jay P. Eickenhorst
New Orleans, Louisiana

Charles D Jacobi
Bar Harbor, Maine

Elizabeth K. Murray
Brunswick, Maine

Emily Prud’homme
Bernard, Maine

John Howard
Emmitsburg, Maryland

William Scott Hall
Bethesda, Maryland

Bill Wilkinson
Bethesda, Maryland

George Alderson
Catonsville, Maryland

David Nathanson
Frederick, Maryland

Katherine Stevenson
Potomac, Maryland

David C Hartman
Frederick, Maryland

Chris Seymour
Newark, Maryland

David H Wallace
Frederick, Maryland

Charles H. B. Arning
Lunenburg, Massachusetts

Glenn Clark
Hanover, Massachusetts

Virginia Rousseau
Orleans, Massachusetts

Steven R Gazzano
Wellfleet, Massachusetts

Edward Peter Walzer
Hesperia, Michigan

Timothy M. Harvey
Canton, Michigan

Delora M. Loope
Munising, Michigan

James L. Hummel
International Falls, Minnesota

Mary Graves
International Falls, Minnesota

Helen Sullinger
Saint Paul, Minnesota

Sandra Kinzer
Farmington, Minnesota

Beth Martin
Vicksburg, Mississippi

Thomas W. Griffiths
Clinton, Missouri

B. Riley McClelland
West Glacier, Montana

Karen P Wade
Fortine, Montana

Dennis F Divoky
West Glacier, Montana

Robert d Dinnagan
Livingston, Montana

Gary G. Brandow
Columbia Falls, Montana

Jack Potter
Columbia Falls, Montana

Tom Habecker
Bozeman, Montana

Patricia M. Corry, Ph.D.
Helena, Montana

James D Swed
Bozeman, Montana

Mary Ann Dowd-Sussman
Ennis, Montana

Warren Hill
Omaha, Nebraska

Edward D Carlin Sr
Omaha, Nebraska

Kevin D. McMurry
Lincoln, Nebraska

Mary E. Elms
Henderson, Nevada

John and Kitty Ritenour
Boulder City, Nevada

Eileen Loughran
Las Vegas, Nevada

Kenneth Weber
Kingston, New Hampshire

Terrence D. Moore
Shamong, New Jersey

Olav V. Olsen
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Cherry Payne
Santa Fe, New Mexico

Anne C. Cully, Ph.D.
Santa Fe, New Mexico

Walter J Chavez
Placitas, New Mexico

Vito Spinale
Santa Fe, New Mexico

Dawn Foy
Santa Fe, New Mexico

Jackie Gonzales
Albany, New York

Maria Abonnel
Cortlandt Manor, New York

Jack Ramsden
Syracuse, New York

Patrick J. McCabe
Caledonia, New York

S. Joseph H. Finan
Greenwich, New York

Barry T. Sullivan
Cape May, New Jersey

Sharon Paris
Santa Fe, New Mexico

Courtney Hotchkiss
Raleigh, North Carolina

Daniel W. Brown
Weaverville, North Carolina

James T. Burnett
Hendersonville, North Carolina

Peter White
Carrboro, North Carolina

Cynthia M. Hilda
Manns Harbor, North Carolina

Steven Harrison
Hendersonville, North Carolina

Nancy K Dagley
Marshall, North Carolina

Dawn Martin
Charlotte, North Carolina

Dan R Moses
New Bern, North Carolina

Terry Lynne McElrath
Black Mountain, North Carolina

William J Carroll
Hudson, Ohio

Emily Thompson
Dayton, Ohio

Eric Shane Gottlieb
Tulsa, Oklahoma

Daniel J. Jenner
Grove, Oklahoma

Daniel M O’Brien
Central Point, Oregon

George E. Buckingham
Chiloquin, Oregon

B. William Henry
Eugene, Oregon

Kristan Briggle Sias
Portland, Oregon

Donna Williams
Carlisle, Pennsylvania

Robert R. Martin
Dunbar, Pennsylvania

David Forney
King of Prussia, Pennsylvania

David Hollenberg
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

William Sanders
Birdsboro, Pennsylvania

Steven Simister
Delaware Water Gap, Pennsylvania

William Strain
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

William J. Halainen
Milford, Pennsylvania

John Richard Erisman
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

David Scott Hartwig
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Claudia L Galagan
Warwick, Rhode Island

John N. Tucker
Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina

Cathleen J. Cook
Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Randi Sue Bry Smith
Spearfish, South Dakota

James Groton, Jr.
Oak Ridge, Tennessee

Kent Cave
Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Warren E Bielenberg
Maryville, Tennessee

Stephen Kemp
Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Fred J Fagergren
Santa Clara, Utah

James Brandi
Salt Lake City, Utah

Nicholas Eason
Moab, Utah

Luke E. Dalton
Ogden, Utah

Tom Haraden
Castle Valley, Utah

Cordell J. Roy
South Jordan, Utah

Larry Thomas
Moab, Utah

Robert G Burns
Orem, Utah

Kathryn Eileen Tustanowski
Moab, Utah

Abigail B. Miller
Shelburne, Vermont

Jane M. Sundberg
Yorktown, Virginia

Carol D. Shull
Arlington, Virginia

Gordon V. Gay
Winchester, Virginia

Philip A. Selleck
Falls Church, Virginia

John J Reynolds
Crozet, Virginia

Russ Ludwick
Luray, Virginia

Scott Emerson Tilley
Maidens, Virginia

Larry Lee Hakel
Luray, Virginia

Denis P. Galvin
Mc Lean, Virginia

Michael K. Johnson
Fredericksburg, Virginia

Sam Weddle
Front Royal, Virginia

Marcia Keener
Fredericksburg, Virginia

Bruce MacDougal
Alexandria, Virginia

James Zinck
Hardy, Virginia

Charles W. Kirby, PhD
Leesburg, Virginia

James Michael Greenfield
Spotsylvania, Virginia

Thomas W. Sweeney
Lynchburg, Virginia

Elizabeth Snyder
Williamsburg, Virginia

Andrew T. Ringgold
Palmyra, Virginia

John E. Hunter
Lovettsville, Virginia

Karen Gail Rehm
Williamsburg, Virginia

Michael Piraino
Bainbridge Island, Washington

Rick Mossman
Mount Vernon, Washington

Denny Huffman
Ridgefield, Washington

Gretchen Luxenberg
Freeland, Washington

Gilbert E. Blinn
Eastsound, Washington

Robert Valen
Grand Coulee, Washington

Laura M. Rotegard
Indianola, Washington

Gary T Cummins
Port Townsend, Washington

Keith B. Dunbar
Kirkland, Washington

Carl S. Christensen
Carlsborg, Washington

Gene and Lizbeth Casey
Ashford, Washington

Ronald G. Warfield
Eatonville, Washington

Michael Gurling
Olympia, Washington

Stephen W. Hastings
Harpers Ferry, West Virginia

Emilee Martell
Somerset, Wisconsin

Joan Anzelmo
Jackson, Wyoming

Mark J. Kelleher
Jackson, Wyoming