Keep Watch Over Our National Lands

The American edition of The Guardian, a British newspaper, has a series to cover any efforts to sell off our national lands or lease them to oil and gas interests or for mining.


“At a moment of deep political division, few issues draw as much bipartisan support from the American public as the sanctity of our national lands. Yet conservative lawmakers have quietly laid the foundation to give away Americans’ birthright: 640m acres of national land. The move would give private developers and oil, gas and mining interests unprecedented control of our shared resources.

“Today, the Guardian US launches This Land is Your Land, a new series to raise awareness about the threat to our public lands and hold politicians and corporate interests accountable for their environmental policies. The series kicks off with an editorial, The Guardian view on America’s public lands: Stop the Republican threat, and a story about risks to the Grand Canyon, as Arizona officials ask the Trump administration to end a ban on uranium mining. While the urgency of climate change is rightly taking up many of our newsroom resources at the moment, we also want to keep the spotlight on the other environmental crisis facing America.

The inspiration for This Land is Your Land came directly from you, our readers and supporters. When the Guardian US published its first story on public lands earlier this year, after the Republican congressman Jason Chaffetz of Utah introduced a bill to sell off 3.3m acres of national land, the piece became a social media phenomenon, attracting close to a million readers, and generating 61,000 comments on Facebook. We received countless emails asking that we stay on top of the subject.

We heard you, and we are excited to launch the series today on this critical issue that desperately needs more national news coverage. When your read the stories in This Land is Your Land, you might notice the project has an unique $50,000 fundraising campaign built into it. As a supporter of the Guardian, your generosity already helps fund environmental series like this, so we’re not asking for additional contributions from you for this campaign. But since we are constantly exploring new and innovative ways to encourage readers to pay for our journalism, we thought you might be interested to know about the fundraising approaches we’re trialing.

The vast majority of Americans support efforts to preserve our national lands—and the public can influence the debate. Not long after our story on Chaffetz’s bill to sell 3.3m acres ran, the negative backlash had a meaningful impact: Chaffetz was forced to pull support for his own legislation.

You can follow This Land is Your Land here.


Jane Spencer
Deputy Editor/Strategy
Guardian US

Keep Watch

from novemoore


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