MARCH 11, 2003
Geoff Milz, 513.310.6024
Meighan Davis, 919.656.0766
New Faces of Environmentalists Emerge in Washington
Students Rally With Members of Congress to Protect America's
- March 11 - Today, 150 students from more than 30 states converged
on Capitol Hill to send the message that patriotism starts with
the protection of America's heritage and public lands. Students
were joined by Representative Ed Markey of Massachusetts (D-MA),
the recent sponsor of the Morris K Udall Act to protect the Arctic
National Wildlife Refuge, and Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA), sponsor
of the National Forest Roadless Area Conservation Act.
Student Coalition brought these high school and college students
to Washington, DC, from across the nation for their fifth annual
Public Lands Action Summit. At the Summit, students learned about
various issues, focusing on protecting America's last treasures:
the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, Utah Wilderness,
and our National Forests.
and the future of this nation, we as students are taking a stand
to ensure that these wild places are protected for future generations,"
said Meighan Davis, the SSC's Conservation Chair and a senior
at Peace College in North Carolina.
Summit's weekend of training, students were joined by renowned
author Terry Tempest Williams who stressed the importance of acting
from the heart in these dark times. After their training, students
took to the halls of Congress to lobby on several issues: protecting
the Arctic Refuge, America's National Forests, and Utah Wilderness,
as well as local issues ranging from tribal land in Arizona to
public lands in Puerto Rico.
recognize and appreciate the role that our Representatives and
Senators have played in the fight to keep these unique, precious
places safe. And the sentiment is obviously mutual -- Representative
Markey has been extremely supportive of student involvement in
the protection of our public lands, as have many others," said
Joanna Winchester, the SSC Arctic Campaign Coordinator and sophomore
at Kenyon College in Ohio. "This is a key time for students to
be in Washington talking about these issues," said Myke Bybee,
the SSC's National Director, "We are in the midst of constant
attacks on our environment, especially in the area of public lands
protection. Congress is considering Arctic drilling as a source
of revenue, National Forest protections are being decimated, and
wildlands in Utah are facing destructive energy development. We
need every student to be reaching out to their Members of Congress
in this crucial time."
of public lands issues was underscored by Jim Steitz, SSC Forest
Protection campaign coordinator, who said, "America's National
Forests are under attack from an administration that is listening
to timber corporations instead of Americans. Students are here
to demand that America's natural heritage be safeguarded."
"The Bush administration
is undermining efforts to protect unique places like Wild Utah
through administrative loopholes and rule changes. We are here
to be the voice of the people in defense of our public lands,"
said Geoff Milz, Media Coordinator for the Public Lands Action
Summit and junior at University of Cincinnati.
Student Coalition, the student-run arm of the Sierra Club, represents
the collective voice of students nation-wide working to protect
their environment and their future.
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