Last week my wife and I drove up the legendary Highway One on the California coast. Our destination was somewhere about 100 miles north of San Francisco, planted on the windswept bluffs perched above the ocean.
In the State of the Union address, President Barack Obama said he would use his authority to protect more pristine federal lands. This was a welcome statement given Congress' failure to protect these important public lands.
Just as the government shutdowns in the 1990s did, this year's shutdown highlighted the extent to which Americans treasure our parks for the recreation they provide and the stories they tell about our society.
Not only is the U.S. taxpayer getting fleeced by the coal industry in these leases, but reckless auctioning off of public lands for fossil fuel extraction greatly undermines the president's stated commitment to address climate change in the waning days of his second term.
We're still hopeful Secretary Jewell will implement the needed reform, and we stand ready to work with her to turn around this government program that wastes taxpayer money and costs wild horses their freedom and sometimes their lives.