Hawaii, Ben Beach
It seems as though all I have been thinking about these days is how much our wild places are under attack. Yet, while anti-wilderness members of Congress are bent on undermining conservation, there are still great efforts going on from wilderness heroes on the ground, and I wanted to share some of them with you.
• Colorado Senator Mark Udall recently announced a new process that he hopes will lead to the designation of new wilderness in the central Rocky Mountains and a national monument in the Arkansas River Valley.
• California Congressmen Mike Thompson and John Garamendi attended a community meeting in Clear Lake, California, to learn about the proposed Berryessa-Snow Mountain National Conservation Area. The meeting was a smashing success and over 170 people came out to show their support for the effort. We hope this will soon lead to permanent protection for this special place.
• The Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is soliciting comments on its wilderness review for the Hawaiian and Pacific Islands National Refuge Complex. The complex covers over twenty national wildlife refuges. The Wilderness Society sent comments to the FWS so that animals can forever call these spectacular places their homes.
• The Wilderness Society and the Back Country Horsemen of America visited Capitol Hill last week for “Hike the Hill” week. Together, we went to multiple offices to ask for trails funding. Every year, millions of Americans hike on one of our nation’s many trail systems, and experience our great outdoors.
While the threats to our wilderness remain, it is small victories like these that keep us going. Thanks for your support!