Tips for Town Hall meetings

Kalmiopsis Withdrawal hearing 2015.jpg

What to expect:

Town halls typically follow a consistent format. Get there early to get a good seat. Make sure you sign up to speak. Upon entry, you will be given a raffle ticket and staffers will pull numbers from a hat to determine who gets to speak. There is no guarantee your number will get called, which is why it’s important to make a statement in other ways: sign holding outside, talking to staffers afterwards, and wearing the same color as your fellow advocates.

Tips on how to comment:

Upcoming Townhalls in Southern Oregon:

People can get really nervous, but your comments don't have to be eloquent. Comments can and should be short and to the point. In order to be most effective, bring in personal connections you might have to your issue (economics, water quality, recreation, wildlife, climate change threats to grandchildren, etc). Also, try to stay focused on topics that the senator can influence such as, Oregon needs more Wilderness designations and keeping public lands public are good topics.

Keep repeating:

Be redundant to the point of polite annoyance. People sometimes hear someone reference the issue you were planning on talking about, and you feel like the topic has been covered so you either don't say anything or ask a question about a different topic. It is important to remember that the more the senator hears about a specific issue, the more she/he will focus on it.

Remember why you are there:

We believe public lands management should focus on protecting the best & restoring the rest. Allowing harmful activities, like clear-cutting & mining, is a step backwards that will reduce water quality, damage our rivers and streams, degrade habitat for fish and wildlife.

  • What will you do to stop our National Forests, Parks, and Wildlife Refuges from being transferred or sold?
  • Will you help ensure protection for public lands that provide us with our drinking water, our recreation, and the high quality of life we enjoy in southern Oregon?

Ask for their stance on an issue and what specifically they will do to address the problem. If they deliberately dodge your question, don’t be shy to follow up and tactfully demand a clearer response.

Don't forget - they work for you and everyone else in the room!

Specific issues you can ask your elected official to address:

If Possible, Open by Thanking:
Thank our Congressman who have worked on behalf of the enviornment for their leadership. Now, more than ever we need our elected leaders to stand up to special interests and their political allies that threaten our clean water, healthy forests, thriving communities, and wild places are protected.   Public Lands Belong in Public Hands!

Right now, there are proposals in Washington D.C. to privatize our public lands. Even transfer of federal public lands to states is extremely dangerous. An example is that the state of Oregon is now considering selling the Elliot State Forest to private industry.

What will you do to stop our National Forests, Parks, and Wildlife Refuges from being transferred or sold?

Stand Up to Trump!
Trump and his cabinet of corporate billionaires are waging a war on science and our environment. Their plan is to hand over our natural resources to industries for profit, and to place corporate interests ahead of our land, air, water – our very life support systems.

What can we do to stop Trump and his cabinet as they attempt to weaken or eliminate bedrock environmental safeguards for our land, air, water, and climate?

Save Our Forests and Rivers!
I urge you to be a leader in protecting our national forests. Trump threatens to harm our old growth forests and rivers by giving industry access while we lose our access to protected public lands.

What can you do to ensure protection for our national forests and ensure that public land managers focus on restoration and not industrial?

Protect our most treasured places!
I urge you to be a leader in protecting our natural treasures and our remaining wild places. In particular, I urge you to protect our gems like the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, the Wild Rogue Wilderness, and the Kalmiopsis Wild Rivers region.

What can you do to ensure protection for these critical landscapes that provide us with our drinking water, our recreation, and the high quality of life we enjoy in southern Oregon?

Support Oregon’s Recreation Industry!
A new study found that outdoor experiences remain a primary driver of visitation to our state. Please support Oregon’s growing recreation industry by protecting our public lands.

What can you do to ensure that the recreation economy is not ruined in the era of Trump?

Guide to Public Lands Legislation:

Current actions threatening our natural heritage of public lands.

Federal Budget: Taking an Ax to the EPA

So what? Trump’s proposed budget would slash the Environmental Protection Agency's funding by a third. Before EPA existed, environmental protection was left to the states, which could not adequately protect the public from pollution. Polluting industries exposed the public to dangerous chemicals, air pollution choked cities, and companies used our waterways as toxic waste dumps. We are still dealing with this legacy pollution across our country today.

Considerations for our Lawmakers

It is vital that you speak up on behalf of environmental protections and the systems and processes that keep communities healthy and protected from the harmful impacts of industry. What will you do to make sure EPA gets the budget it needs to keep the Rogue, Klamath and other watersheds clean and our community safe?

Public Lands House Bills:

Muddying the Clean Water Act - H.R. 1261

So what? H.R. 1261 would vastly limit the waters protected from pollution by the Clean Water Act and make polluters less accountable. This will directly affect the health and well-being of our families and our communities. Protecting clean water is one of the fundamental responsibilities we have to future generations. Meanwhile, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is already starting the process to roll back the Clean Water Rule and reduce our clean water protections.

Considerations for Your Congressman:

It is vital that you speak up on behalf of clean water.  What will you do to prevent roll backs of the Clean Water Act?

Proposal to transfer of federal forest lands to Klamath and Siskiyou counties 

So what? The draft transfers 100,000 acres of U.S. Forest Service land each to Klamath and Siskiyou counties. The lands would be used for timber production under the misguidance that these industries will improve communities.

Public Lands Senate Bills:

Reshaping the Antiquities Act, to remove the president’s power to create National Monuments -  S. 33 and S.132

So what? These changes would require the president to get Congressional approval. For over a hundred years, presidents from both parties have used National Monuments as a key tool to protect wild places. For example, the Grand Canyon began as a National Monument before becoming one of our country’s most iconic National Parks. Our very own Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument followed a similar trajectory. Recently it allowed former President Obama to protect Bears Ears in Utah and expand the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. It’s a flexible designation that allows the White House to collaborate with locals on the best protections for a specific area.

Considerations for our Senators:

This is an important part of protecting our local public lands and could directly impact the recent expansion of the Cascade-Siskiyou.  Our public lands bring revenue to our our rural communities through the recreation industry - how do you plan to protect this Antiquities Act, thereby protecting our natural heritage, clean water, and the livelihood of many rural Oregonians?