This year Christmas came a little early for all Americans who treasure our public lands, when Interior Secretary Ken Salazar delivered a new policy for protecting wilderness-quality areas managed by the Bureau of Land Management. The Secretarial Order effectively puts an end to the second class status of wilderness on our public lands that was ushered in by the Bush administration’s “no more wilderness” policy.
‘Tis the season for giving thanks, spreading cheer, and reflecting on the past year. In that spirit, one of our favorite traditions in The Wilderness Society’s BLM Action Center is compiling a year-end list of the greatest achievements in conservation for lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management. The result is our CAPE Awards – with winners earning between 1 and 5 CAPEs (5 being on the high end of the scale), and a couple “honorable mentions” for those that just missed the cut.
What started off as an average hike in late October turned into a bit of a scare. Shenandoah National Park appeared to be on fire with color during my recent visit but little did I know what this trip had in store for me. The highest elevations boasted the brightest fall colors from oak, hickory, and maple trees, illustrating a typical yet breathtakingly beautiful fall day in the temperate zone.
Just before Thanksgiving, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Deputy Secretary David Hayes each talked about "wise” and “smart” planning for development of our nation’s renewable energy resources. Their comments were about a new program for off-shore wind in the Atlantic, but they could have just as easily been talking about on-shore wind and solar development.
In a major speech last week, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu declared that the United States is in the midst of a “Sputnik moment for clean energy development,” and that now is the time to win the clean tech race with China. He cited accelerating innovation as one of the key ways to ensure that we meet our country’s energy goals and be the world’s leader in clean energy.
Throughout the summer we’ve invited you to participate in shaping President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors Initiative. Nearly a quarter million of you have engaged — either by attending one of the more than 25 “listening and learning” sessions the Administration held across the country or by sending in your thoughts and ideas to the America’s Great Outdoors website.
This past Tuesday’s election delivered a message that is reverberating throughout the halls of Congress: Voters went to the polls and sent the message that partisanship and legislative gridlock are no way to manage the nation’s business. By delivering a divided Congress for the first time in 10 years, voters are not endorsing one party or the other — they are instead crying out for cooperation, compromise and a little common sense.
Editor’s note:This story originally appeared in Wilderness Magazine, our annual publication that features in-depth coverage and features about the day’s most pressing conservation issues. Become a member and receive a free copy!
America’s bat populations are facing an epidemic. A disease called White Nose Syndrome (WNS) associated with the fungus geomyces destructans (G.d) has already claimed the lives of millions of bats on the East Coast and is spreading south and west.
2010 marks the 40th anniversary of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Over the last 40 years, NEPA has brought about what one commentator describes as a “revolutionary change in governmental decision-making”. But just what sort of change and what impact has it had on you and I, and our environment? A recently released report, NEPA Success Stories: Celebrating 40 Years of Transparency and Open Government, answers just these questions.