Hot Issues

Wilderness can’t protect itself. That’s why it’s important to know the issues — from managing roads and building trails in national forests to steering energy projects away from sensitive places.

At Wilderness, we use a blend of policy, partnerships and science to address important issues affecting designated wilderness and other wildlands. Our policy work focuses on the following areas:

Wilderness designation

Using the Wilderness Act, Congress is able to designate new public lands as wilderness. A mere 5 percent of the U.S. is designated wilderness — roughly 110 million acres. We need to protect millions of acres more.

Monument designation

The president can designate public lands as national monuments using the Antiquities Act. When a wildland receives monument designation, it also gains new protections against development and other threats.

National forests

National forests are a vital part of America’s public land system. So much of what makes our country special would vanish without them.

Public lands

Our public lands face many threats —energy development, off-road vehicle use and other development activities. At Wilderness, we work with the Bureau of Land Management and other agencies to balance how we use and protect public lands.

Oil and gas

Much of the oil and gas produced in the United States comes from public lands. Our work helps to protect these lands from further harmful development of fossil fuels.

Renewable energy

Clean energy sources like wind and solar can help us reduce climate change, but can harm wildlife and wildlands if not sited carefully.

Conservation funding

When funding exists for important conservation projects, there’s a better chance that wilderness is protected, studied and managed well.

Outdoor recreation

Millions of Americans enjoy recreation on our public lands each year. It’s important to balance opening wildlands to recreation opportunities while also protecting them from harm.

 

  • Some of the most important climate and energy achievements of the last eight years—including many that were Wilderness Society priorities—will be on the chopping block the moment President-elect Trump settles into the Oval Office. It will be more important than ever to stand up and let our lawmakers know what is important to us.

  • Thank you to the tens of thousands of you who responded to our requests to sign your name to a letter urging the administration to take this step. This is your victory!

  • Trump has picked a leading climate denier, Myron Ebell, to lead the transition team at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Ebell is also said to be in contention to head the agency itself. On the campaign trail, Trump said he may "cut" the EPA, but giving Ebell any authority over it may be just as bad.