How to Advocate for Public Lands - Backpacker

How to Advocate for Public Lands

Whether you’re up for a two-minute phone call or a two-hour meeting, follow these tips to save the lands you love.
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Public Lands Protest

Protesters demonstrate at the Utah state capitol in Salt Lake City.

“I get discouraged all the time. We all do. But there must be joy and love in advocacy—it starts with love for a place, for a community. and that is revitalizing.” —Terry Tempest Williams, author, speaker, and conservationist

Choose Your Weapon

No matter how you communicate, tell your representative who you are, where you’re from, and how the issue affects you.

The Meeting

How it works This is the most effective. Putting a face on an issue makes it personal.

How to find one Go to a town hall meeting or make an appointment (call two weeks ahead) with your representative.

The Phone Call

How it works Staffers keep a tally of how many calls an issue receives each week.

Whom to call Find your rep’s direct office number at whoismyrepresentative.com.

When to call Call during business hours before a big vote, especially one day prior. If an email newsletter has a call to action, act immediately.

The Letter

How it works Handwritten notes catch a representative’s attention. Do your research, and keep it to three paragraphs.

Where to send it Use your representative’s office address in his or her home state.

Social Media

How it works It’s harder for reps to ignore comments made in the public arena.

What to do Tweet or Instagram a selfie on public land, tag your representative, and tell him or her to take action.

The Expert

Ani Kame’enui, the Director of Legislation and Policy at the National Parks Conservation Association

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