The announcement came around midnight EST Thursday morning via Congressman Jason Chaffetz’s social media networks. Beginning with an Instagram post depicting his camo-clad self and trusty hunting dog, Chaffetz announced his intentions of withdrawing H.R. 621 the following day.
I am withdrawing HR 621. I'm a proud gun owner, hunter and love our public lands. The bill would have disposed of small parcels of lands Pres. Clinton identified as serving no public purpose but groups I support and care about fear it sends the wrong message. The bill was originally introduced several years ago. I look forward to working with you. I hear you and HR 621 dies tomorrow. #keepitpublic #tbt
The bill outlined a plan that would see 3.3 million acres of publicly-held land disposed of, following recommendations from the Clinton era, who referred to the land located in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming as “deemed to serve no purpose for taxpayers.”
The change of heart ultimately can be attributed to the astounding collective voice of not only passionate anglers and hunters but also those who use these swaths of land for hiking, biking and other forms of outdoor enjoyment.
Since the introduction of the bill a little over a week ago, our voice as hunters, anglers and conservationists resonated across social media and the phone lines. As we urged everyone to contact their house representatives on this issue, so did other industry leaders and figures, to great resolve.
While the fight to protect public lands is nowhere near over, this small victory serves as a true testament to the ardent power of the outdoor community. Keep up the good fight.