Blog

  • This is the first installment of a four-part series on the beautiful, threatened Otero Mesa from New Mexico writer and Southwest Regional Office Administrative Assistant Zoe Krasney.


    The three of us lean out of the car windows as we bounce along the dirt road through Otero Mesa, this remote and hidden grassland in Southern New Mexico. The road is blanched by mineral deposits leaching to the surface, a pale line starkly bisecting the wash of green and brown and the metallic spray of seedheads for miles all around us.

  • If you think today’s youth are up to no good, you obviously haven’t been at Newhalem Crags in the North Cascades National Park recently. A group of 8 young climbers and 16 others volunteered a coveted Saturday in September to build an access path to the Crags in Washington.

  • It’s one of the most difficult environmental concepts to understand, yet the word is starting to get out: some fires are good things. A look at a recent poll conducted by a coalition headed by The Wilderness Society and The Nature Conservancy revealed that the American public better understands that fire, under the right conditions, helps restore forests and protect communities and firefighters alike.

  • The Endangered Species Act is well known for protecting plants and animals, but by defending wildlife and habitats, it protects humans too.

    Despite the importance of the act, the Bush Administration recently proposed dangerous changes that would undermine its protective powers.

    In August, the administration proposed that government agencies no longer be required to seek independent scientific review for projects that could affect endangered plants or animals.

  • A federal limit on global warming pollution received a timely endorsement from two key House chairmen in October.

    U.S. Reps. John D. Dingell, (D-Mich.) and Rick Boucher, (D-Va.), have vowed to tackle global warming. Their proposed cap-and-trade legislation, released Oct. 7, sets the stage for future discussion on preventing dangerous emissions.

    Thank you, Congressmen. We needed that.

    The Wilderness Society welcomes the progress but we remain wary of its modest near-term goals.

  • Right now, a sweeping and long-awaited package of bills that would conserve hundreds of thousands of acres of new Wilderness and other special public lands is working its way through Congress. If passed, the omnibus lands act, would provide the greatest expansion of the National Wilderness Preservation System in 14 years.

    So much work has gone into making these wilderness-friendly bills a reality, but with the end of the legislative year, many larger, controversial national issues have taken attention away from passing the legislation.

  • Here I am at one of the West’s wildest and most spectacular waterways — eastern Oregon’s Owyhee River will offer the chance to escape to a remote desert canyon for six days, where I’ll enjoy stunning towers and rock formations, soak in natural hot springs, catch glimpses of soaring raptors and California bighorn sheep, and test my skill against exciting whitewater rapids.

  • A recent report from The Wilderness Society shows that the Tongass National Forest contributes more than $2 billion to local economies through non-timber uses, such as recreation and tourism, commercial salmon fishing, subsistence and scientific research.

  • Bristol Bay, the largest wild salmon fishery in the world, is at risk from industry proposals to drill for oil offshore, and to develop the world’s largest open pit gold and copper mine onshore.

    The Wilderness Society is fighting these dual threats and working to protect this southwestern Alaska region renowned for its biological productivity and cultural history.

  • Stand at the edge of Island in the Sky in Canyonlands National Park near Moab, Utah, and be prepared to be swept away by a landscape of redrock badlands and canyon country.

    This extraordinary national park, with its enormous views and unique geologic features, is largely managed by the Bureau of Land Management – and unfortunately the BLM is making some very disconcerting decisions about this precious part of south-eastern Utah.

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