Vet Voice Foundation Statement on Anti-Public Lands Obstruction During NDAA Fight

Today the House and Senate Armed Services Committees released the final text of FY21 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Notably missing were vital natural resources provisions, which were included in the House-passed version of the bill, specifically the Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy Act (CORE), the Grand Canyon Centennial Protection Act, and the Protecting America’s Wilderness Act (PAW). In reaction to the bill’s release, Vet Voice Foundation’s Major General (Ret.) Paul Eaton, a US Army veteran, released the following statement:

"Days left of a presidential administration and Donald Trump is still doing everything he can to thwart any efforts that support our nation’s public lands and waterways. Now we can add pressuring lawmakers to play politics with national defense funding to the list. 

"The House of Representatives passed a version of the NDAA that included vital natural resources provisions that not only serve our communities and nation but that also help combat one of our greatest security threats: climate change. These natural resources provisions were common-sense steps to protect our public lands and, in the case of the CORE Act, recognize our military veterans through the creation of a National Landscape at Camp Hale honoring the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division. Donald Trump didn’t care. Politics as usual. 

"Since day one of his administration, Donald Trump and the anti-public lands fanatics who work in his administration have been doing everything they can to privatize our nation’s treasured public lands and destroy our planet. Ignoring climate scientists, attempting to zero-out the Land and Water Conservation Fund, rolling back environmental protections, and shrinking of national monuments have put our nation and our entire planet at risk. 

"To those who fought tooth-and-nail to keep these provisions in the bill, thank you. Your good works don’t go unnoticed. And we very much look forward to working with you and your staffs during the Biden-Harris administration and starting the moment the 117th Congress gavels in to see these natural resources provisions turned into law, building upon the momentum the American people have created through their steadfast support of our nation’s public lands."