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.

 

  • Testimony delivered by The Wilderness Society's Chase Huntley to the House Natural Resources Committee Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources

  • A letter to Members of the House of Representatives urging them to oppose HR 4899, a bill that would undermine important wildland protections and force drilling in pristine areas of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska

  • Every year, a coalition of conservation and environmental groups produce a report to help Congress as it debates the federal budget for the year. This report, has typically been to referred to as the "Green Budget." This year, it is titled "Green Investments," and it illustrates the importance of reinvesting in conservation and natural resources programs for Fiscal Year 2015 by looking at some of the effects of recent budget cuts.