BLM Protection

The wildlands, wildlife, clean air and pristine water on America’s public lands need careful management and some places require special protection.

The threats

Our western lands face increased pressure from climate change, population growth, misuse and energy development, so it is more important than ever to put in place plans that protect some of America’s last great wild lands and wildlife for future generations.

The most unspoiled and fastest growing region our country continues to be the western United States. Families are drawn to the clean environment, open spaces and recreation opportunities offered by public lands from the Rocky Mountains to the California coastlines.

Benefits of protecting BLM lands

Protected public lands produce measurable benefits in terms of employment and personal income for communities. Mining, logging, oil and gas development, farming and ranching are no longer the only economic drivers in the West. Research has shown that real per capita income in isolated rural counties with protected land grows faster than in isolated counties without any protected lands.

What we are doing

The BLM is obligated by law to “protect certain public lands in their natural condition,” to inventory the resources of the public lands and to make decisions about which uses are appropriate on which lands. 

The Wilderness Society's BLM land protection efforts focus on:

  • Identifying and protecting wilderness areas
  • Protecting habitat for imperiled species like the greater sage-grouse and for other iconic wildlife, like elk and pronghorn antelope
  • Evaluating and addressing the impacts of climate change to our public lands by engaging in Rapid Ecological Assessments
  • Ensuring that oil and gas development is kept out of sensitive areas, including lands with wilderness characteristics
  • Guiding renewable energy development to appropriate places
  • Applying and developing scientific approaches to management and conservation

Future wilderness

Millions of acres of public lands deserve protection as designated wilderness. We push the BLM to make the right decisions about these lands. 

Protecting Sage-Grouse habitats

For centuries, a vibrant sagebrush landscape covered the western United States. Today wildlife that depend on the sagebrush, especially sage-grouse birds, are threatened. We're working with the Bureau of Lands Mangement to save these fascinating birds. 

Rapid ecological assessments

Because BLM lands are impacted by climate change and other environmental changes, the BLM has launched ecoregional assessments to improve their understanding of of the changes. 

 

 

 

 

  • Michael Reinemer
    The Wilderness Society today praised Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) for introducing important legislation that would conserve more than 58,000 acres of public lands in Colorado’s Eagle and Summit Counties including approximately 40,000 acres of wilderness and more than 18,000 acres as special management areas.  
     
  • Michael Reinemer
    To mark the 50th year since the signing of the Wilderness Act in 1964, the Getches-Wilkinson Center for Natural Resources, Energy and the Environment and The Wilderness Society will host a conference on September 4 and 5 at the University of Colorado Law School in Boulder. “Celebrating the Great Law: The Wilderness Act at 50” will feature prominent authors, professors, historians, activists and Colorado’s poet laureate.  
     
  • cate tanenbaum

    Wilderness Society applauds House for moving beyond ‘gridlock’ but says new amendments lead legislation astray

    The Wilderness Society today praised the House Natural Resources Comamittee for advancing Wilderness designations for Washington state and Nevada but worries House legislation departs too significantly from more locally supported counterpart bills in the Senate.