Ben Ray Luján is a U.S. Congressman for New Mexico’s 3rd Congressional District. He was first elected in 2014. Luján has called the Trump Administration’s reduction of Bears Ears National Monument “an attack on all of our national monuments.” He supports permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund and voted to preserve sage grouse habitat protections. He also voted to block public land transfers, and criticized the lack of public input on changes to the methane waste rule.
Notable Activities and Statements on Public Lands Policy
U.S. Representative Ben Ray Luján Tweeted Support of National Monuments.
Luján Tweet Stated Trump’s Action on Monuments Was An “Attack” on All Monuments. “The Trump administration’s decision to dramatically decrease the size of #BearsEars National Monument despite vast public opposition is an attack on all of our national monuments. Our public lands must be protected and preserved. #MonumentsForAll #StandWithBearsEars.” [Tweet by Ben Ray Luján, 12/04/17, accessed 10/29/18]
U.S. Representative Ben Ray Lujan Supports Permanent Reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).
Luján’s Website Highlights LWCF Benefits. “Rep. Luján strongly supports permanently reauthorizing the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which provides necessary resources for outdoor recreation and conservation projects throughout the state. This program sets aside a small portion of royalties from oil sales to fund conservation projects which protect federal lands and create state and local parks. Such projects include the Santa Fe National Forest, the Chaco Culture National Historical Park, and the Bandelier National Monument. Rep. Lujan proudly supports such investments, which generate approximately $3.8 billion for New Mexico’s economy and support 47,000 jobs across the state. ‘For more than 50 years, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has helped protect New Mexico’s precious land and water resources that are a part of our heritage and culture. As one of our most successful conservation and recreation programs, LWCF has also strengthened our economy and helped create jobs in our communities by supporting public access to outdoor recreation that attracts visitors from near and far to the Land of Enchantment.’” [“LAND WATER AND ENVIRONMENT,” Ben Ray Luján, accessed 05/23/18]
U.S. Representative Ben Ray Luján Voted to Limit Public Land Transfers.
Luján Voted to Block Funding that Would Initiate Federal Land Transfers. “Representative Jared Polis, a Democrat from Colorado, introduced an amendment on an Interior Department funding bill that would have blocked funding to initiate any federal land transfers, disposals, or sales that were not in the public interest or were not part of Federal Lands Transfer Facilitation Act. This amendment would have effectively made public land transfer more difficult. With its failure, the possibility is still available to public land seizure proponents to sell off the lands that belong to all Americans to the highest bidder.” Luján voted for the amendment. [Press Release, National Wildlife Federation, 09/14/17, FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 491, Office of the Clerk-House of Representatives, accessed 10/29/18]
U.S. Representative Ben Ray Luján Supported Protecting Sage Grouse Habitat.
Luján Voted to Preserve Sage Grouse Habitat Conservation Plans. During consideration of the Interior and Environmental Appropriations bill in 2016, the House of Representatives voted on an amendment sponsored by Rep. Niki Tsongas that would protect plans to conserve the threatened sage grouse’s habitat across the western United States. On July 14, 2016 the House rejected the Tsongas amendment by a vote of 184-241. Lujan voted yes to preserve the conservation plans for sage grouse. [National Environmental Scorecard, League of Conservation Voters, accessed 10/29/18, FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 474, Office of the Clerk-House of Representatives, accessed 10/29/18]
U.S. Representative Ben Ray Luján Tweeted Concerns Over Changes to Methane Emissions Regulations.
Luján Objected to Lack of Public Input on Methane Rule Rescission. “When the Methane Waste Prevention Rule was developed @Interior held more than a half dozen hearings, including in NM. For the rescission under Zinke none have been held. This is deeply concerning and represents a clear departure from how public policy should be made.” [Tweet by Ben Ray Luján, 04/19/18]