Climate change

Climate change is one of the largest threats we face as a species. It is also one of the largest threats to our public wildlands.

Americans are seeing longer and more intense fire seasons, severe droughts throughout the West, increased glacier melt in the Arctic and rising sea levels that consume our coastal wetlands. Not only do these extreme weather events jeopardize natural resources and the economy, they also greatly harm our public lands and the wildlife that call them home.  

The Wilderness Society is committed to supporting policies that reduce carbon emissions, transitioning American to clean energy, and supporting large landscapes that help nature cope in the face of climate change.

Keeping wildlands intact and resilient

America’s public lands play a crucial but underappreciated role in addressing the causes and consequences of climate change.

The Wilderness Society is working to ensure that wildlands contribute to the effort to combat climate change. From pioneering climate adaptation tools, to identifying crucial climate refuges where species can retreat to when their habitat is lost, to building innovative climate monitoring techniques, our scientists and policy advisers are working nationwide on diverse approaches that will keep America’s wildlands resilient in the face of a warming climate.

We are engaged in climate projects across the country, including Alaska, the Crown of the Continent, Heart of the Northern Forest, Southern Blue Ridge and the Sierra Nevadas. 

Transitioning to clean energy

Renewable energy is helping our nation to decrease the amount of harmful emissions that contribute to climate change. Wind and solar technology will play an important role in moving our energy future away from oil, gas and coal.

But while these clean energy sources will help us stop a warming climate, America's wildlands can suffer when energy is developed in sensitive places.

In order to protect our public lands from the harmful consequences of any energy development, The Wilderness Society is focused on identifying more suitable lands for clean energy development to occur without leaving a large environmental footprint.

We are seeking new public policies that guide energy projects to prescreened areas where conflicts with ecological and environmental resources are low, while advocating for protections for sensitive areas to put them off-limits to threatening energy development.

In addition, we work with other energy experts to help guide energy policies that incentivize investment in clean technologies or create markets for renewable energy.

 

  • Michael Reinemer

    More than 50 million acres of Bureau of Land Management Land could include more conservation measures to help sage-grouse, based on plans announced by Interior Secretary Sally Jewell today in Cheyenne, Wyoming.  The plan released for Idaho is meant to pair the protection of sage-grouse habitat with other multiple use management of public lands. If implemented correctly, this plan can create more certainty for Idaho ranchers while also making a significant commitment to conserve sage-grouse habitat.

  • Anastasia Greene

    The future of more than 50 million acres of Bureau of Land Management Land could include more conservation measures based on plans announced by Interior Secretary Sally Jewell today.  When adopted and implemented, the federal plans for managing the conservation of Greater Sage-Grouse could complement the broad number of efforts already underway across the West and highlight a commitment to conservation that is needed from the Interior Department.

  • Michael Reinemer

    Citing some of “the most beautiful and iconic landscapes on earth” in Teton County’s backyard, the board of commissioners Tuesday morning unanimously passed a resolution that “opposes any and all efforts by the State of Wyoming to obtain the wholesale transfer of federal lands in Wyoming” to the state. In January, Sweetwater County filed a letter with the state legislature stating similar opposition to measures that would turn over federal public lands—such as parks, wilderness, and national forests—to state jurisdiction and management.