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.
Late last week Senator Harry Reid (NV) introduced the America’s Great Outdoors Act of 2010 (S. 303). The legislation would establish new parks, monuments, wilderness, battlefields and heritage areas; support water supply and conservation projects and protect key river segments; facilitate necessary land exchanges and conveyances; and improve the management of America’s public lands.
Presents to buy, gifts to wrap, cards to send, and goodies to bake. It's that time of year again. And as crazy and stress inducing as the holidays can be for us humanoids, it must be infinitely more tiresome for Mother Earth, who by now has surely come to dread the month of December for all the increased waste and demands it places on her resources.
Urban Southern California – known for its traffic logjams and ever-growing suburbia – will soon benefit from an agreement to protect one million acres of wild lands in four local national forests.
These added protections are the windfall from a successful lawsuit that challenged the management plans of four Southern California national forests.The Dec. 15 court settlement is a win for drinking water, wildlife habitat, fresh air and outdoor recreation – benefits that will be enjoyed by many generations of families.
Shopping mall parking lots are full, store lines are long and FedEx delivery men are working overtime. Americans are by and large incredibly generous and thoughtful people and the Christmas season provides an outlet for that expression. Still, I can’t help but think that most of the fruitcakes, holiday sweaters and video games being wrapped up and put under trees over the next few days will only provide temporary happiness for their new owners after this holiday season has come and gone.
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!
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.
If you agree that climate change is a global problem that requires a global solution, then the recent agreement achieved in Cancun, Mexico is reason for hope – and succeeded in a few areas where the much more lauded conference in Copenhagen last year failed.