Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Answers to these Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) should give you a better sense of who we are.

FAQ1: What’s your story? Where’d you guys come from?

We were formed by a small group of people who have spent most of our lives enjoying our public lands. Our numbers include hunters, anglers, hikers, backpackers, birders, and artists. More than anything, we include folks who can’t help but look at a map and marvel at all the lands that are reserved for us, the public. We are the kind who will pull off the road on a summer evening to watch the sun set below a ridge or enjoy a sunrise.

By trade we are writers, consultants, managers, conservationists, and retirees who individually and collectively have worked to protect public lands. We hail from both sides of the political spectrum and find the common ground that drives progress in protecting our public open spaces.

We founded CPC because organized activity can be more effective than individual advocacy. This organization allows us to develop clear and consistent messages, pool resources to fund activity, and provide an opportunity to share our environmental interests and energy with a team.

If that all sounds good, please join us.

FAQ 2: Who exactly are you protecting public lands from?

There are many adversaries to natural resources held in the public trust. Sometimes they don’t even realize they’re being adversarial.  Sometimes they do.

Our public lands are a rich heritage and their value is more tangible than one can possibly imagine. It’s also pretty disturbing to find how often people seek to extract that value. Developers want to build on them. Politicians want to give them away to curry favor. Local stakeholders want to exploit them at the expense of those who are distant and vice versa.

Sometimes you catch something underhanded going on, but many times — and even more disturbing — the threats are legal. Something held “in perpetuity” doesn’t mean “forever”. Something being set aside for public enjoyment suddenly is transferred to a developer. Legislators change a law which might allow a favored party an opportunity or access.

Regardless of where the threats to public lands come, we want to be there. We act with discipline and vigor. We strive to increase transparency seek change. We’ll need help. We’ll need your help. Join us.

And if there’s a matter you think we should know about, contact us.

FAQ 3: What do you have to say about what I do on my private property?

The legal use of private lands is outside the scope of our interests. We like our private property rights as much as the next person. We aren’t in the business of telling anyone how best to manage their personal affairs. Or course, if someone is illegally draining a public lake so that their private flower garden gets watered, that might get our attention.

FAQ 4: Are you a “political” organization?

No. We’re a  non-profit organizations are not allowed to be involved in any way in political campaigns. While our mission will bring us into contact with politicians and policy makers, we do not get involved in politics. And that is how we prefer it.

FAQ 5: “Sustainable Use” sounds like codewords for tree hugging. Are you tree huggers?

Yes, we like trees, but we also know that sometimes to be good environmental stewards, you have to cut them down.  And note that the word “use” is in there with “sustainable”. We want public lands to be usable by citizens. That said, such use needs to be sustainable for the long term. For example, we don’t believe that you should be able to ride your ATV anywhere you want on public lands although we agree that there should certainly be places for that use. The solution is to seek a balance.  And “balance” and “cooperation” are not bad words in our book. Most importantly, all those interested in the use of public lands need to work together to ensure that powers that would rob us of this birthright are held at bay. We know that there are plenty of folks who agree with that.

FAQ 6: Are you a liberal or conservative organization?

Yes and yes.  We take positions that appeal to both liberals and conservatives. We also take positions that may appeal to one and not the other and vice versa. Our goal is to be driven by facts, to be driven by the law, and to be directed by a passion to keep public resources in the hands of the public. Our founders and early members cross the political divides and our positions reflect that diversity.

FAQ 7: Are you against extractive industries like mining, oil drilling and fracking?

To be clear, we’re only concerned with what happens with regard to the public’s commons; lands and natural resources. What happens with private entities on private lands is not in our scope unless it negatively affects public lands or resources. We all value the things that extractive industries give us — heat for our homes, gas for our cars, electricity for our devices, you get the idea.

Contact Us

If you have any questions that have not been answered here, you can Contact Us.