EnvironmentHot SheetPublic landsTrump

Environmental group puts up Pueblo billboard to defend Great Sand Dunes

Author: Joey Bunch - August 24, 2018 - Updated: August 24, 2018

Great Sand DunesThe Center for Western Priorities put up this billboard in Pueblo to defend the Great Sand Dunes, about an hour to the west. (Courtesy of the Center for Western Priorities)

As vehicles zip through Pueblo burning fossil fuels, the Denver-based Center for Western Priorities has a new billboard along Interstate 25 announcing its “Don’t Drill Our Parks” campaign.

The advertising features the Great Sand Dunes National Park in southern Colorado. The Bureau of Land Management is considering leasing out parcels for oil and gas development outside the eastern border of the park.

RELATED: BLM delays oil & gas lease sales planned east of Great Sand Dunes

“The Trump administration continues to endanger our national parks, selling off lands to industrial development right at their gateways,” Jennifer Rokala, executive director of the Center for Western Priorities, said in a press release Friday morning. “The administration might have given the Sand Dunes a temporary reprieve, but we’re very concerned it will be put back on the chopping block. We need leaders who will put the people who live, work, and play on these lands ahead of oil and gas companies and special interests. This campaign sends a very clear message to our leaders in Washington: We must stop President Trump from drilling the doorsteps of our national parks.”

The billboard is south of City Center Drive in Pueblo.

The campaign includes similar billboards near Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico and Canyonlands National Park in Utah ti reach park visitors, the Center for Western Priorities said. Pueblo is about 60 miles east of the northern portion of the Great Sand Dunes.

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch is the senior political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has a 31-year career in journalism, including the last 15 in Colorado. He was part of the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 and is a two-time Pulitzer finalist. His resume includes covering high school sports, the environment, the casino industry and civil rights in the South, as well as a short stint at CNN.