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Wednesday
Aug242016

Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument

This week, in honor of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, President Obama designated the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument encompassing awe-inspiring mountain, forests and waters of north-central Maine
Wednesday
Aug102016

Tribal Leader Advocates for Public Lands

For James Holt, Nez Perce tribal member, #OurWild is his homeland. "People need those places. They need open spaces. We can't let it get shut off." Join the movement to protect #OurWild from privatization at www.wilderness.org/ourwild.

For additional information and expert resources on the public lands takeover please go to WILDERNESS.ORG.

Tuesday
Aug022016

CA Coastal National Monument Expansion

Today, we have the opportunity to add 6,200 acres to California Coastal National Monument, providing lasting protections to some of the California coast’s most exquisite coastal gems—and making more of the monument accessible to more people than ever.

If the California Coastal National Monument Expansion Act is passed, these incredible coastal views, rolling grasslands, lush redwood forests and live oak groves—just outside of Santa Cruz and an hour’s drive from the Bay Area—would be open for all to enjoy.

Let’s give the California Coast the protection it deserves. Ask President Obama to expand the California Coastal National Monument now.

Monday
Jun272016

Time to Protect Bears Ears

In the southeast corner of Utah, the region known as “Bears Ears” covers nearly 2 million acres of dramatic mesas, canyons and arches (and the namesake sandstone-fringed buttes).

With more than 100,000 Native American archaeological and cultural sites, Bears Ears provides a unique connection to the ancient world. Perhaps nowhere in the United States are so many well-preserved cultural resources found within such a striking and relatively undeveloped natural landscape.

In July of 2015, leaders from five Tribes founded the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition, representing a historic consortium of sovereign tribal nations united in the effort to conserve the Bears Ears cultural landscape. The five nations are committed to working together. A total of 26 Tribes have expressed support for protecting the Bear Ears region for future generations of Americans. Native American peoples are also seeking active engagement in future management of the area.

The members of the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition are:

This vast stretch of wildland is arguably one of the most culturally significant places in the country, and one of the least protected. The rock art etched and painted into the steep-walled canyons and the ruins, kivas, and other artifacts—that still exist in their original context—don’t just tell a story of the ancient world, they also contribute to what makes Bears Ears a sacred place for Native American tribes to this day.

Despite its irreplaceable value, Bears Ears is under attack—threatened by looting, vandalism and development. Some politicians in Utah see this remarkable landscape as just a place to exploit, which could destroy a physical chronicle of millions of years of natural and human history.

Please ask President Obama to #ProtectBearsEarsNow

Friday
Jun242016

Announcing the Stonewall National Monument

On June 24, 2016 President Obama designated the site of the Stonewall uprising and birthplace of the modern LGBT civil rights movement the “Stonewall National Monument.” This new monument is a testament to the diversity, inclusiveness, and individual freedom that make America great.
"I’m designating the Stonewall National Monument as the newest addition to America’s national parks system. Stonewall will be our first national monument to tell the story of the struggle for LGBT rights. I believe our national parks should reflect the full story of our country – the richness and diversity and uniquely American spirit that has always defined us. That we are stronger together. That out of many, we are one." - President Barack Obama
Friday
Feb122016

New National Monuments in California

Americans and visitors from around the world have long been drawn to the stark beauty of the California desert, with its rocky peaks, amazing array of plants and wildlife and Native American archaeological sites. Now, thanks to President Barack Obama, more of this spectacular region is protected within three new national monuments.

Bridging the area between Joshua Tree National Park and Mojave National Preserve, Mojave Trails National Monument protects a stunning array of desert plant life and essential habitat for desert tortoise, bighorn sheep, eagles, falcons and a wide variety of reptiles. The monument includes 350,000 acres of previously designated wilderness, along with the Pisgah Lava Flow, Marble Mountain Fossil Beds and the most intact stretch of historic Route 66. 

The new Sand to Snow National Monument encompasses a tract of land between Joshua Tree National Park and the San Bernardino National Forest that stretches from the Sonoran Desert floor to Southern California's tallest alpine peak, Mount San Gorgonio. It includes rivers, wetlands, desert landscapes and Joshua tree woodlands, not to mention 100,000 acres of existing wilderness. It’s also home to the headwaters of the Santa Ana—Southern California's longest river, as well as the headwaters of the Whitewater River and its accompanying wetlands—providing habitat for migrating birds, including yellow-breasted chat and vermilion flycatchers. Mule deer, mountain lions and black bears also roam this region.

Castle Mountains National Monument protects habitat for golden eagles, bighorn sheep, bobcats, mule deer and other wildlife, in a landscape of native desert grasslands and rocky peaks. Joshua trees, pinion pine and juniper forests are permanently protected in the new monument, along with significant cultural features, including Native American archaeological sites and the remains of Hart, a short-lived gold mining town from the early 20th century. The area has also been identified as an ideal reintroduction site for pronghorn antelope, the second-fastest land mammal on earth.

Tuesday
Sep222015

Sage-grouse Conservation Announcement 

Once seen in great numbers across the West, greater sage-grouse have declined in number over the past century because of the loss of sagebrush habitats essential for their survival and had been candidate species for listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

Because of an unprecedented effort by dozens of partners across 11 western states, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has determined that the greater sage-grouse does not require protection under the Endangered Species Act.

This collaborative, science-based greater sage-grouse strategy is the largest land conservation effort in U.S. history. The Fish and Wildlife Service decision validates efforts to advance large landscape conservation guided by science and honed by local knowledge. A  more detailed summary of the plans is forthcoming later this week, but the topline is clear. The federal plans will result in nearly 12 million acres of unwaivable protections and 23 million acres with stringent restrictions – that’s nearly 35 million acres of new conservation on federal lands through administrative designations and mineral withdrawals.

Sunday
Aug092015

Idaho mountains declared federal wilderness

As seen on PBS News Hour:

A big swath of Idaho wilderness will now be protected from development, thanks to legislation passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama on Friday. The law ended a 40-year effort that was supported by environmentalists, ranchers, recreation groups and Idaho's Congressional delegation. Idaho Public Television's Rocky Barker reports.

Tuesday
Aug042015

Boulder-White Clouds Protected as Wilderness!

The 114th Congress has just passed its first wilderness designation of this session.  The legislation will protect lands within the Boulder-White Cloud Mountains of central Idaho.  The Sawtooth National Recreation Area and Jerry Peak Wilderness Additions Act (H.R. 1138), authored by Representative Mike Simpson (ID-R-2nd) and Senator Jim Risch (ID-R), was passed by both the House and Senate and protects more than 275,000 acres of world class native fish and wildlife habitat beloved by hunters, anglers, and wildlife watchers.  President Obama is expected to sign this bill into law later this summer.

The 275,000 acre landscape just east of the existing Sawtooth Wilderness Area comprises delicately-balanced habitat for eight of Idaho’s big-game species, including Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, mountain goat, elk, moose, and antelope.  Rare and sensitive predators also roam these mountains such as the wolverine, gray wolf, lynx, and mountain lion. 

The diverse habitat of the Boulder-White Clouds is unrivaled because it contains both summer and winter wildlife range and staggering elevation changes.  For thousands of years, salmon and steelhead have journeyed from their birth streams in the Boulder-White Clouds down to the Pacific Ocean — one of the longest salmon migration routes in the world — where they mature into adults and return to spawn. 

The area is beloved by hunters, anglers, and wildlife watchers.  And the hundreds of high mountain lakes and hundreds of miles of hiking trails make the Boulder-White Clouds one of Idaho’s premier backcountry destinations. 

Read this announcement from The Wilderness Society, which includes several stunnind pictures of the area. 

Friday
Jul242015

Doing Energy Right

From The Widlerness Society

We need a balanced approach to our wild lands – one that balances conservation with our needs for energy – and corrects the massive imbalance on lands out west. More than 90% of Bureau of Land Management lands in the west are open to oil and gas drilling – more than 200 million acres. And only 27 million acres are protected – less than 10% of the total lands managed by the BLM. 

We need solutions that put conservation and energy on a level playing field using tools like Master Leasing Plans to take a holistic look at landscape. 

There are many lands in the west that are Too Wild to Drill – we need to make sure that BLM lands are managed for more than just energy.