Aspen city councilmember Ann Mullins was among elected representatives from five mountain communities who traveled to Washington D.C. last week. They were there with the advocacy group Mountain Pact.
Mullins and officials from Frisco, Avon, Telluride and Bend, Oregon, met with senators and representatives, as well as with senior officials at agencies like the Department of the Interior. This is the second year that Mullins has traveled to the Capitol with Mountain Pact; last year, the group successfully pushed for completion of a report that shows that outdoor recreation contributes nearly $400 billion to the economy annually. Much of that recreation happens on federal lands.
“It points out the importance of keeping these lands healthy, keeping them managed at the federal level and funneling money toward maintenance,” Mullins said.
This year, the group pointed to that economic influence to argue for three policy points. They want congress to ensure that oil and gas leasing goes through substantial environmental review. They also pushed for long-term renewal of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which is financed by royalties from oil and gas companies, and they advocated for maintaining the Bureau of Land Management methane waste rule.