McClintock is not the person to protect our public lands!


McClintock is not the person to protect our public lands!

By Susan Ashby

A number of organizations have recognized Tom McClintock (R-CA04) as being an enemy of public lands and the environment.  His voting record confirms their assessment.  Below are excerpts from a couple of environmental groups and several House Bills he voted for, and more, all exemplifying his anti-environmental stand.

  • McClintock is among a group of 15 congressmen designated as “Public Land Enemies” by the Center for Biological Diversity.
    The Center for Biological Diversity released a report today identifying the top 15 members of Congress trying to seize, destroy, dismantle and privatize America’s public lands. These “Public Lands Enemies” are part of a growing movement to industrialize public lands for profit, including increased exploitation for oil and gas drilling, fracking, logging, mining and development.

    “For everyone who cares about our national forests, wildlife refuges, national parks and monuments, these elected officials need to be watched very closely and opposed at every step.”


  • McClintock scores 0% on the National Environmental Scoreboard issued by the League of Conservation Voters for 2016.
    Examples of his votes in 2017:

    • On February 7, the House approved H.J. Res 44. This is an anti-environment bill.  This legislation would repeal efforts to improve the management of public lands by increasing the participation of local stakeholders and engaging them earlier in the process. McClintock voted for yes – the pro-environmental vote would have been NO. Our adjacent districts, CA-03, CA-06, CA-07, CA-09, all held by Democrats, voted no.
    • On March 30, the House approved H.R. 1431. This legislation would undermine the ability of the Science Advisory Board to provide independent, objective, and credible scientific advice to the EPA. This legislation would allow industry to significantly prolong the scientific review process which would delay key public health and environmental protections.  McClintock voted for yes – the pro-environmental vote would have been NO. Our adjacent districts, CA-03, CA-06, CA-07, CA-09, all held by Democrats, voted no.
    • On March 29, the House approved H.R. 1430. This legislation would endanger public health by making it extremely difficult for the EPA to use the best available science. This legislation would result in less effective public health protections. McClintock voted for yes – the pro-environmental vote would have been NO. Our adjacent districts, CA-03, CA-06, CA-07, CA-09, all held by Democrats, voted no.


  • McClintock co-sponsors H.R.622 Local Enforcement for Local Lands Act.
    This bill declares that, by September 30, 2017, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) shall terminate the Forest Service Law Enforcement and Investigations unit and cease using Forest Service employees to perform law enforcement functions on federal lands. It basically removes the power to enforce laws from the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management on any land they manage throughout the entire country. If this bill passes, law enforcement will instead be the responsibility of local agencies, which will receive a stipend from the government for their services.  Many of these smaller community and county sheriff departments are ill-equipped to enforce laws over vast new areas of rough, inaccessible terrain, or that the Forest Service and BLM rangers currently enforcing the laws there know the land better than they would.Picture this: Your car is being broken into at a Forest Service trailhead. A ranger is nearby but they have to radio down to a city sheriff department to get someone to come up to apprehend the suspect because they are no longer allowed to enforce laws on Forest Service land.


  • McClintock co-sponsors bill that would be devastating to the forests he says he wants to protect. R. 2647 The Resilient Federal Forests Act.
    This bill is pro-industry and anti-environment, and seeks to eliminate public participation in federal decisions about forest management that could negatively impact local communities, ecological health and wildlife.  From The Wilderness Society: this bill

    “would undermine important environmental laws and increase unsustainable logging in our national forests.”

    The National Parks Conservation Association provides an excellent summary including:

    “Rather than promoting healthy forests, the bill encourages management actions that would threaten communities, wildlife, and clean water.”

    The bill ignores the best available science on the restoration of forests, undermines bedrock environmental laws designed to provide for substantial public involvement and accountability in land management decisions, and poses a threat to ongoing and effective collaborative forest restoration efforts….

    “This bill does not address the fundamental issues needed to protect communities from severe wildfires, fails to address wildfire funding at the U.S. Forest Service, and does not protect America’s forests or make them more resilient.”

    The bill passed the House in 2015 by a vote of 262-167, with all dissenting votes coming from Democrats.  It is currently on the Senate Calendar.


  • McClintock signs on to nullify a BLM rule which improves how the BLM conducts its large-scale resource management plans. In December 2016, the BLM finalized its Planning 2.0 initiative which opened up a whole new level of public participation, creating a more transparent process that gives lots of opportunities for the people who love public lands to shape how those lands are managed. It also does a much better job of recognizing the importance of recreation, including for local economies, and greatly improves the agency’s ability to handle data.  The new House passed a bill that would nullify this rule.  It passed the Senate and came back to the House as H.J. Res 44.  The Outdoor Alliance (outdoor recreation advocates, including backcountry skiers, paddlers, climbers, and mountain bikers) and the National Parks Conservation Association among others opposed the bill.  In February 2017, the House, including McClintock passed HJ Res 44 (see the National Environmental Scoreboard above) which nullifies the BLM Planning 2.0 initiative.
1 Comment
  1. J.

    Well written article with facts and substantiating data including bill identities.


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