Let Your Voice Be Heard!
Getting a letter to the editor (LTE) published in the newspaper is an excellent way to educate the public about your issue, and to ensure that elected representatives hear the voices and opinions of their constituents. Here are some general tips to help you get your letter published:
- Letters should be short – ideally 200-250 words long. In fact, some of the best LTEs are a mere 1-2 sentences long
- Letters should be timely – newspapers are more prone to publishing your LTE if it relates to an issue currently in the news. Finding a way to tie it in to a recent news story, or an upcoming event that is sure to be in the news is a great way to give your letter a leg up above the rest
- Letters should be personal – the LTE section of the newspaper provides a forum for people to express their opinions – express your passion and avoid sounding like an opinion-less textbook
- Think about your audience – who are you trying to influence with your letter? The general public? An elected official? Make sure that the message and tone of your letter will resonate with your target audience.
If you need some additional help or information feel free to get in touch with us.
Consider these talking points:
- With 600,000 acres of core grassland and 1.2 million acres of total public land, Otero Mesa is one of the largest and wildest desert grasslands in North America.
- It is home to many species of wildlife, including many grassland birds that are declining elsewhere in their range.
- The Salt Basin Aquifer beneath Otero Mesa is one of the region’s largest untapped sources of freshwater.
- Oil and gas development would threaten Otero Mesa's wildlife and water.
- Drilling on Otero Mesa will do little to solve our nation’s energy needs. The most optimistic estimate of the amount of natural gas beneath Otero Mesa is 1 trillion cubic feet--the equivalent of only 16 days of U.S. demand.
- Clean, renewable energy sources, like wind and solar, offer far more potential, with fewer impacts to wildlife, and without contributing to climate change.
- At the moment, Otero Mesa is unprotected. Only Congress (through legislation) or the President (by declaring a national monument) can permanently protect this extraordinary landscape.