Editor’s note: This story originally appeared in Wilderness Magazine, our annual publication that features in-depth coverage and features about the day’s most pressing conservation issues. Become a member and receive a free copy!
Like many students, I often put projects off until the last minute. This was a great source of aggravation to my parents, who would be besieged by requests for rides to the library at 8 pm the night before research papers were due. This lack of foresight on my part led to several sub-par efforts, and many teachers cited a “hurried” feel to the papers or projects in question.
For over 75 years The Wilderness Society has sought out protections for public lands across the country. Our efforts have kept threats, including irresponsible energy development, from harming the places we all hold dear. Now our team faces a new challenge—finding places that are suitable for renewable energy development. This has proven to be a tough path, but we understand a key element in the fight against global climate change is how we produce and conserve energy.
There’s no doubt: America is going through some rough economic times. As calls mount for tightening the country’s financial belt, there’s much discussion from Capitol Hill to Main Street America regarding how to maximize the bang from our tax-collected buck. It’s times like this that make folks who care about public lands nervous.
People throughout Idaho rallied to add 517,000 acres of our state’s rugged Owyhee Canyonlands to the National Wilderness Preservation System in 2010, breaking a generation-long drought of wilderness designation in Idaho. During the previous 30 years, not a single acre of wilderness had been designated in Idaho -- despite the fact that the state has more candidate wildlands than any state outside Alaska.
A diverse coalition of 173 public interest groups from 41 states — including The Wilderness Society — sent a letter to House and Senate leadership, asking them to prioritize land, water and wildlife bills during the lame duck session this year.
The Wilderness Society is advocating for 21 wildland and Wilderness bills that would protect a total of almost 2 million acres of Wilderness designations and 2 million acres of other wildlands protections from coast to coast.
You’ve got to love it when an American icon like actress Betty White speaks up for something you care about. It’s even better when she gets recognized for her commitment and achieves a dream in the process.
White, a long-time supporter of wilderness, became an honorary Forest Service ranger at the Kennedy Center this week. The agency presented her with a badge and one of its famous Stetson hats. She even got to hug Smokey Bear.
The Wilderness Society is proud to announce our sponsorship of a park clean up in the greater Washington community at Northwest Branch Park in Silver Spring, Maryland.
On Saturday, Nov. 13 at 9:00 a.m. The Wilderness Society will join forces with Mid Atlantic Climber, Access Fund, the Potomac Conservancy, and the Maryland-Capital Park Planning Commission to take back the park!
It’s great that Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has been focusing a lot of attention on solar and wind development on public lands, even to the point that the DOI’s web site is sporting images of wind turbines and solar panels. This attention to renewable energy is very welcome to those of us who work closely with government agencies to protect wild places from the impacts of drilling and climate change, but there are a couple critical pieces of the renewable energy puzzle that we need to make sure the Interior Department and its Bureau of Land Management focus on.