Hot Issues

Wilderness can’t protect itself. That’s why it’s important to know the issues — from managing roads and building trails in national forests to steering energy projects away from sensitive places.

At Wilderness, we use a blend of policy, partnerships and science to address important issues affecting designated wilderness and other wildlands. Our policy work focuses on the following areas:

Wilderness designation

Using the Wilderness Act, Congress is able to designate new public lands as wilderness. A mere 5 percent of the U.S. is designated wilderness — roughly 110 million acres. We need to protect millions of acres more.

Monument designation

The president can designate public lands as national monuments using the Antiquities Act. When a wildland receives monument designation, it also gains new protections against development and other threats.

National forests

National forests are a vital part of America’s public land system. So much of what makes our country special would vanish without them.

Public lands

Our public lands face many threats —energy development, off-road vehicle use and other development activities. At Wilderness, we work with the Bureau of Land Management and other agencies to balance how we use and protect public lands.

Oil and gas

Much of the oil and gas produced in the United States comes from public lands. Our work helps to protect these lands from further harmful development of fossil fuels.

Renewable energy

Clean energy sources like wind and solar can help us reduce climate change, but can harm wildlife and wildlands if not sited carefully.

Conservation funding

When funding exists for important conservation projects, there’s a better chance that wilderness is protected, studied and managed well.

Outdoor recreation

Millions of Americans enjoy recreation on our public lands each year. It’s important to balance opening wildlands to recreation opportunities while also protecting them from harm.

 

  • Anastasia Greene

    On Monday, September 26, the Colorado Bureau of Land Management state office announced that it will be pursuing a master leasing plan in Southwest Colorado. The statement comes after the agency engaged in an unprecedented public outreach campaign that consisted of a series of public meetings and the formation of a public working group that resulted in the submission of hundreds of comments to the local Tres Rios field office.

  • Michael Reinemer

    Today the House of Representatives approved H.R. 845, the National Forest System Trails Stewardship Act by Representatives Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and Tim Walz (D-MN). The legislation would keep more trails across the nation open and accessible by expanding the use of volunteer and partner organizations and providing increased focus on a handful of priority areas around the country.

  • Michael Reinemer

    With very few legislative days left in the 114th Congress, this bill has no chance of being adopted and would do too little to protect wild, cultural and historic lands, including the critically important Bears Ears area.