Missoulian LogoMy name is Doug Morris and I served 40 years with the National Park Service. I live in Montana and serve as an executive council member for the Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks.

The purpose of this letter is to urge U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte to cosponsor the bipartisan House bill, H.R. 3225, the Restoring Community Input and Public Protections in Oil and Gas Leasing Act.

This administration has made every effort to promote extraction of oil and gas from our public lands, resulting in damage to national parks across country. In Montana alone, they have put nearly 450,000 acres of public land up for sale in the past three years. In addition, they have curtailed public comment periods, shortened protest period times, made environmental review optional, and waived aside concerns over impacts to natural and cultural resources.

H.R. 3225 would reverse some these harmful practices, bring balance and public engagement back to the leasing programs, and forbid drilling on the doorstep of our national parks.

This bill will likely be marked up in the House Natural Resources Committee in February and I hope that Congressman Gianforte will cosponsor and support this vital legislation.

Doug Morris, Victor, MT

Published in The Missoulian, Missoula, MT