We realize that writing a letter (a term we use here to include emails) to your elected officials can seem like a daunting task, and writing a letter to the editor (known as an LTE in the biz) all the more so because it's such a public undertaking. But letter writing is an integral part of how new wilderness gets protected. LTEs are an especially good way of getting the word out about your support to the community at large, to your local elected officials and to your members of Congress. They grab the attention of decision-makers.
In order to help make it easier, we’ve compiled a few tips below to help out if you choose to send a letter.
1. Keep it short. Letters between 200 and 400 words are a great length for the writer and the reader. In the case of letters to the editor, short, pithy letters - sometimes just a single paragraph - are often the most effective, and have a greater chance of getting published.
2.Write about your feelings and from your experience. Why do you think wilderness protection is important? It’s much easier to write about what you think and feel.
3.As long as you're making the effort to write a letter, you might as well get as much mileage out of it as you can. If you send it to one newspaper, send it to the other papers in your area. If you send it to one Congressman, send it to the others. Heck, send it to all the papers AND all your Senators and Congressman. Don't forget to copy and save it before you send it through a website, so that you can keep reusing it!
4. Submit your letter on Sen Udall's website. You can also submit comments on Sen Udall's website, which wil play a key role in how strong Udall's proposal is.
5. Keep it positive. This letter campaign is about the reasons we support protecting our wilderness. Negative letters only preach to the converted. Positive letters capture imaginations and get new people involved.
6.Include your name, hometown and phone number. Papers won’t publish letters from anonymous sources or with pseudonyms, and the phone number is necessary for confirmation. If you e-mail your letter, put “ Letter to the Editor” in the subject line. Elected officials need your address so that they know you're a constituent.