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October 3rd, 2013
Grijalva Letter Calls on Interior Sec. Jewell, Agriculture Sec. Vilsack to Halt Extraction on Federal Lands Until Visitors Can Return

Rep. Grijalva sent a letter (text below) to Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack on Oct. 3 urging the end of mining, drilling and other extractive activities on federal lands until employees and visitors are no longer locked out. The letter highlights the risk of environmental damage, the shortage of manpower available to respond to emergencies, and the economic damage being done to small businesses – such as concessionaires and outdoor guides – currently unable to access the public lands on which they rely for income.




Oct. 3, 2013


The Honorable Sally Jewell

Secretary of the Interior

Department of the Interior

1849 C Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20240


The Honorable Tom Vilsack

Secretary of Agriculture

Department of Agriculture

Washington, D.C. 20250


Dear Secretary Jewell and Secretary Vilsack,


Despite the federal government shutdown making national parks, monuments, wildlife refuges

and many other important sites unavailable to the public, oil and gas drilling and other extraction

activities continue on our federal public lands. The lack of oversight of these potentially

hazardous activities greatly concerns me, especially because of the scarcity of manpower to

respond to emergencies, pollution issues or other rapid response needs.


I am equally concerned about the many businesses that rely on our public lands. Concessionaires

that operate facilities within our public parks and other federal lands have been locked out by the

shutdown. So have river and trail guides who rely on public lands and waterways to make a

living. Small businesses cannot afford to be cut off from their main – in some cases sole – source

of income.


This disparity greatly disturbs me, as does the ongoing environmental risk to sensitive outdoor

areas. I urgently request the immediate cessation of mining, drilling and other extractive

activities on our federal public lands until we end the shutdown and cease the lockout of federal

employees and visitors.


Very respectfully,


Rep. Raul M. Grijalva

Ranking Member, House Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation

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