Studies make it clear: the US needs to transform its energy system with less-polluting options. Rich renewable energy found on our public lands play a key role in powering our future.
In developing renewable energy on public lands, we shouldn’t sacrifice sensitive wildlands and wildlife habitat. By choosing the right places and methods for developing clean energy, we can ensure our environment and economies stay healthy.
What The Wilderness Society is doing
The Wilderness Society is working to help build a more sustainable energy future, focused on clean, renewable energy. We work to find opportunities for conservation while seeking renewable energy alternatives that minimize damage to the land. This includes:
- Reducing the acreage of lands used for energy development by increasing power generation near where people live and work
- Guiding large-scale renewable energy projects to places where they will not harm wildlife and wildlands
- Ensuring that renewable projects on public lands are in “low-conflict” areas so that they can be approved sooner, helping the nation decrease its reliance on fossil fuels
What is the role of public lands in renewable energy?
Along with state and private lands, our public lands harbor substantial wind, solar and geothermal resources. Development is not appropriate everywhere on public lands. Where it does occur on public lands, it needs to be done in a responsible manner.
When we work to guide renewable energy development to the most appropriate places, we can avoid damaging sensitive wildlands and wildlife habitat. Solar, wind and transmission line development require forward thinking policies and development practices.
Ensuring that renewable energy leaves the smallest footprint on our land and receiving fair market rates for the use of our public lands for energy development is a critical part of our work. Reinvesting into conservation efforts and offsetting the impacts through mitigation are an important part of the transition to clean energy sources.
Replacing fossil energy with renewable energy can reduce carbon emissions and limit the worst effects of climate change. The Wilderness Society envisions a future where the nation relies on a more sustainable energy system that has less impact on the warming planet and our changing climate.
Add your voice to important wilderness causes and take action to stop threats to our wildlands by joining our community of wilderness activists.
Stay current on legislation moving in Congress, issues affecting wilderness and wilderness designation campaigns with our Notes from the Hill.
Find fact sheets, reports and other resources related to wilderness policy and conservation.
- Tuesday, May 19, 2015
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.
- Monday, May 11, 2015
In spite of Royal Dutch Shell’s disastrous performance during the 2012 Arctic Ocean drilling season, the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management today conditionally approved the company’s 2015 exploration plan, which provides even fewer safeguards for the Chukchi Sea and its sensitive coastline than Shell had in place three years ago. Shell also plans to bring a different rig operated by a new contractor to the Arctic Ocean in 2015, which could result in unexpected transport and drilling problems.
- Tuesday, May 5, 2015
The Wilderness Society strongly supports bipartisan legislation, the Wildfire Disaster Funding Act of 2015 (S. 235, H.R. 167), to fix a budgetary problem called “fire borrowing.” This is a destructive cycle in which the Forest Service is forced to take funds from other forest programs when its allotted wildfire funds are used up, essentially robbing Peter to pay Paul to put out fires in our national forests.