The American people own 618 million acres, and there are many heated debates right now involving how to use those lands. Below are summaries of a few of those debates, followed by Wilderness Society staff members who can tell you more.
I spent a recent Friday afternoon uncharacteristically dressed in a jacket and tie, sitting in a court room, not particularly focused on what was being said. I found my mind wandering back to remember some of Idaho’s spectacular backcountry that I’d hiked this summer. It was the fate of much of that backcountry that was being debated by attorneys in that courtroom.
America’s shared public lands have always been a beloved and special part of our heritage, no matter our political sway. All of us enjoy the natural benefits wilderness has to offer -- from clean air and drinking water to places to recreate and enjoy the peace and quiet of nature.
As the urgency to take action on climate change increases, Texas oil companies are seeking to mislead California voters with a ballot measure that would gut California’s landmark greenhouse gas legislation.
“I want to work. My family needs me to work.”As these impassioned words hung in the air, much like the low-hanging clouds blanketing the town of Kake, Alaska, that morning, those gathered in the drafty gymnasium nodded their heads with empathy.
Each year millions of visitors recreate on public lands, places within our national forests and national parks, and untold more on Bureau of Land Management lands. They hike, bike, swim, fish and canoe across the hundreds of millions of acres we are lucky to call every American’s birthright. In fact, recreation is the main reason a lot of us get out on our public lands.
These new wildlands protections will ensure that amazing iconic American lands in 12 different states are forever preserved, but one challenge in ensuring their passage is dispelling the all too common misperception that wilderness protection locks up resources.
Our national parks, national forests, and other public lands belong to all Americans — and Americans of all kinds are doing great work to protect these natural treasures for future generations. The Wilderness Society’s Diversity Task Force honors this citizen richness by selecting dedicated Americans to put on the “Faces of Conservation” wall in our Washington, D.C., headquarters.