Don’t giveaway our great outdoors during National Wilderness Month

This year, for a third consecutive time, President Obama made a proclamation decreeing September as National Wilderness Month. We here at The Wilderness Society welcome this announcement as one of the many ways we celebrate our wild places in September.

The Wilderness Act was signed on Sept. 3 in 1964, National Public Lands Day falls at the end of September, and this year we’re unveiling a new way to love the great outdoors this month: Great Outdoors America Week or GO America Week.

GO America Week, from Tuesday Sept. 20 to Friday Sept. 23, involves outdoor enthusiasts from all walks of life - children and adults, conservationists and business leaders, hunters and anglers, bikers and boaters – who want to celebrate and protect our lands and waters.

Many are coming to DC to make their voices heard, while others are hosting events right in their own backyards – whether that is their literal backyard, or a city, state or national park, or other outdoor spaces. Those attending GO America Week in DC will participate in briefings, celebrations and meet with elected officials to ask for their support in protecting our great outdoors.

GO America Week could not come at a more critical time for our wild places. Congress -- primarily House leadership -- has waged an unprecedented attack on our lands and waters.

Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy has introduced risky legislation, The Great Outdoors Giveaway, which would give away our lands, waters and vanishing wilderness to corporate polluters. This Congress has also made devastating budget cuts to our most needed programs, and further cuts – which are being considered by Congress – could result in closures in our parks, refuges and other wild places. All the while, subsidies to industrial polluters remain high.

Which is why people are flocking to DC to protect our natural heritage. Wilderness advocates in DC will be joined by youth health advocates, veterans, bikers, and more!

You can stay up-to-date with the most current information by following GO America Week on Twitter and Facebook, and be sure to sign-up if you are coming to DC or learn how you can host your own event back home!

During this National Wilderness Month, as we are facing unprecedented challenges, we can’t lose sight of all that we have to celebrate. In these tough times for the great outdoors, millions of people are inspired daily by our treasured wild lands. During Go America Week, we hope that Congress listens to the dedicated Americans who fight to protect our nation’s natural heritage, this month and all year long.