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 public lands 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.

 

  • Neil Shader

    New legislation introduced today in the House and the Senate would undermine state and federal planning efforts, nearly complete, to conserve the greater sage grouse and perpetuate uncertainty faced by all westerners, according to The Wilderness Society. The following statement can be attributed to Chase Huntley, senior government relations director for The Wilderness Society.

  • Neil Shader

    Authorization for LWCF runs out on September 30 2015.

    Today, Earth Day, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on “reauthorization and potential reforms” to LWCF. Funded primarily by offshore oil royalties—not taxpayer dollars—the program has had strong bipartisan support since its enactment in 1964. The Wilderness Society strongly supports several bills to reauthorize LWCF including S. 890, S. 338 and H.R. 1814, now pending in Congress.

  • Neil Shader

    Proactive, cooperative conservation measures could be a model for protections across the West

    The following statement can be attributed to Nada Culver, senior director of agency policy and planning for The Wilderness Society, regarding the Department of Interior’s decision to not add the bi-state greater sage grouse population to the Endangered Species List.