For Immediate Release: Tuesday, August 18, 2020
Contact: NORA, Jeff van Ee, firstname.lastname@example.org; Kirsten Stade, PEER, email@example.com
Nevada Outdoor Recreation Association Hands over Reins to PEER
62-Year Legacy of Advocating for Public Lands Will Continue
Washington, DC – After 62 years of working to improve the nation’s management of public lands, the Nevada Outdoor Recreation Association (NORA) announced today that it is closing its doors and entrusting Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) with its goal of advocating for our great commons of public lands managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
NORA was cofounded and directed until 2011 by Charles S. Watson, Jr. Charlie, a former BLM employee, coauthored The Lands No One Knows in 1975 and published his book The Great Terrain Robbery in 2009. He was instrumental in the passage of the Federal Lands Policy and Management Act. This act provided the framework for the BLM to manage a large portion of our public lands which, to this day, are underappreciated and under numerous threats. So why is NORA closing its doors at this time?
“It was a difficult decision,” said President Jeff van Ee, “but our board felt we could have a bigger impact and carry on the legacy of Charlie and NORA by taking our limited resources and supporting the work of PEER. PEER has a history of ensuring that conscientious public employees can do what’s right for the public and the environment and not be ostracized or penalized as Charlie Watson was. After Charlie was forced out of the BLM, he was able to live his lifelong ambition to educate the public on the value of our BLM lands and the agency that was entrusted to manage them for multiple use and multiple generations.”
PEER is a national nonprofit organization staunchly committed to protecting public lands for current and future generations. PEER has worked tirelessly since its founding in 1992 to ensure that public lands are managed for multiple uses, including for recreation, wildlife habitat and clean water sources. PEER’s efforts on behalf of public employees and the values they protect include defending whistleblowers, shining the light on improper or illegal government actions, working to improve laws and regulations, and supporting the work of partner organizations.
“NORA has been such a passionate defender of public lands,” said Tim Whitehouse, Executive Director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. “We are honored to carry on the work of NORA and the vision and legacy of its founder Charlie Watson.” With the financial contribution from NORA, PEER will establish a special fund to further the work of NORA and PEER.
“We are encouraging those who support the efforts of NORA and our continued work to protect and advocate for public lands to consider adding their contribution to PEER’s Charles S. Watson, Jr. BLM Advocacy Fund,” said van Ee. “At a time when public lands are being managed with little regard for the preservation of the rare wildlife or iconic natural beauty for which they are famous, the work of protecting public lands is more important now than it has ever been.”