VVF Letter to House and Senate Armed Services Committees In Support of Natural Resources Provisions Being Included in the NDAA

TO: 

Senator James Inhofe, Chairman 
Representative Adam Smith, Chairman
Senator Jack Reed, Ranking Member
Representative Mac Thornberry, Ranking Member 

Dear Chairman Inhofe, Chairman Smith, Ranking Member Reed, and Ranking Member Thornberry: 

We write to express our support for natural resources provisions recently passed by the House as two  amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA): 

These amendments would safeguard more than 3 million acres of public lands and designate more than 1,000  miles of Wild and Scenic Rivers. We hope to see these protections for our public lands and rivers emerge as part of the final, post-conference NDAA. 

As a group representing more than 700,000 veterans and military families, we know firsthand how important our public lands and rivers are for the health and wellbeing of our nation’s veterans, military families, and active duty service members. Research shows — and something we’ve all realized more during the COVID-19 crisis  — that spending time outdoors improves mental and emotional health. For many of us, being able to hike, fish,  camp, hunt, and explore our public lands and rivers allows us to heal from our experiences from our service.  Spending time outdoors also helps us reconnect with friends and loved ones, and eases our transition back home. 

Protecting our public lands and rivers not only benefits our families and our communities today, but also safeguards these important places for future generations. 

Our public lands and rivers are a symbol of the country we served at home and abroad. Protecting our nation’s treasured public lands and rivers is a patriotic duty. We strongly urge you to ensure that these natural resources provisions are included in the final version of the NDAA. 

Sincerely, 

Major General (retired) Paul Eaton, U.S. Army 
Vet Voice Foundation 

Cc: Senate and House Armed Services Committee Staff