“Service Not Seizure” Campaign: Give Back To—Don’t Steal—U.S. Public Lands

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Conservation Lands Foundation launches campaign to fund veterans, young people and Native Americans to restore and protect habitat on America’s public lands

#ServiceNotSeizure campaign to support public lands

While these militants plead for public support in the form of mayonnaise & snacks, we want to offer people a way to reject their criminal actions and support positive work on public lands we all own.

In response to the armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon—and to the militants’ plea for donations of mayonnaise, cash, throw rugs and other sundry items—the Conservation Lands Foundation (CLF) has launched a counter-campaign on Crowdrise, called the “Service Not Seizure” campaign. The campaign supports veterans, youth, and Native Americans who want to work as part of conservation corps building trails, protecting wildlife, improving water quality and giving back to their country.

“Americans love their public lands,” said Brian O’Donnell, Executive Director of the Conservation Lands Foundation. “Millions of hours of conservation work are conducted every year to improve public lands for wildlife and recreation. We want to bolster support for these efforts, not the efforts of those attempting to seize lands owned by all Americans.”

In 2012, the Conservation Lands Foundation established a Veterans-Youth Conservation Corps Partnership Program to accomplish much-needed habitat restoration and stewardship on the National Conservation Lands—a collection of 31 million acres of the most ecological and culturally significant public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management. These lands are managed for conservation and open to all Americans for activities including hunting, outdoor recreation, scientific study, and grazing.

The “Service Not Seizure” campaign (http://www.crowdrise.com/ServiceNotSeizure) will continue CLF’s work to raise funds to provide job opportunities for veterans and young people to work with conservation corps, in partnership with local BLM staff and community volunteers. These conservation corps restore wildlife habitat, eradicate invasive species, re-establish native plants, improve trails and other recreation access, and survey cultural resources. The projects have employed 80 veterans and young people, and enlisted approximately 200 volunteers.

The respected Colorado College released this week shows that Westerners overwhelmingly support their public lands.

“Veteran, Native American and youth crews are ready to do something positive for public lands, gain work experience, and serve their country. What they need is funding,” said Dave Welz, CLF’s Associate Director of Communications. “While these militants plead for public support in the form of mayonnaise and snacks, we want to offer people a way to reject their criminal actions and support positive work on public lands we all own.”

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Meghan Kissell
@ConservationLF
since: 10/2010
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