HELENA, MT, October 28, 2020A Guardian article published earlier this week reveals the full extent of the corrupt Trump administration’s assault on America’s cherished public lands and wild places. Trump’s efforts to undermine our pristine and sacred public lands began on day one when he assembled the ultimate swamp team lead by former mega-lobbyist David Bernhardt that continues to this day.   

“There is no doubt about it – Trump is the worst environmental and public lands president to date. From the moment he stepped in office, Trump and his cronies have been rolling back critical protections to our public lands and wildlife. Instead of focusing on science and facts, Trump’s main concern has always been lining the pockets of his wealthy Big Oil donors and himself,” said Western Values Project Director Jayson O’Neill.   

The story provides a stunning visual representation of the some 5.4 million acres of U.S. public lands that have been auctioned off to Big Oil at rock-bottom prices during the last four years. The Trump administration’s fire sale of America’s public lands has undermined or revoked critical land protections, disregarded science and negative environmental impacts, dismissed climate change, silenced public and community voices, and ignored the Indigenous people who have lived on that land for centuries. The research complied by the Wilderness Society Action Fund also found that an additional 50 million acres could be on the action block in a second Trump term.   

The Trump administration has also been working feverously to finalize overturning or rolling back nearly 100 environmental protections for special interests.   

Western Values Project previously exposed the influence of the Sutherland Institute, an oil and Koch-funded conservative front-group in Utah, on the administration and its relentless campaign against the public land protections afforded by national monument designations. In fulfillment of one Sutherland Institute priority, Trump signed an order that illegally slashed Bears Ears by 85% along with a 50% cut to Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument — the largest single rollback of public land protections in history.   

Read our Money Trails profile on Sutherland Institute here.

Western Values Project, an Accountable.US project based in Montana, defends America’s public lands through research and public education to expose special interest influence on policymakers who are charged with making key decisions in order to protect the West’s outdoor heritage.