Damaging Legislation Threatens U.S. Wild Lands

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New legislation would remove protections on more than 60 million acres of public lands, an area the size of Wyoming. H.R. 1581, the Wilderness and Roadless Area Release Act, would undo decades of public lands protections, opening up some of the country's most spectacular landscapes to new industrial activity and exploitation. The bill was introduced by House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) has introduced a companion measure, S.1087.

“This legislation would undo the nation's tradition of managing these lands with a balanced approach,” explained Tom Wathen, deputy director of the Pew Environment Group. “It would also disregard years of work by lawmakers from both parties to craft proposals with diverse stakeholders to safeguard these undeveloped areas.”

H.R. 1581 Pie Chart

H.R. 1581 would open up for development more than half of our public lands that currently have some form of protection. Download.

Iconic public lands threatened by this legislation:

Alkali Creek Wilderness Study Area Photo by Edith Heyward

Alkali Creek Wilderness Study Area is located in the Bighorn Basin.

Ramshorn DuNoir Inventoried Roadless Area Photo by Robert Hitchcock

Ramshorn DuNoir Inventoried Roadless Area is located in the Shoshone National Forest, WY.

Jerry Peak Wilderness Study Area Photo by John McCarthy

Jerry Peak Wilderness Study Area is located in the Boulder White Clouds Range.

Mesa Lake Photo by Gordon Johnson

Dardanelles Inventoried Roadless Area located in the Eldorado National Forest.

Soda Mountains Wilderness Study Area Photo by John Dittli

Soda Mountains Wilderness Study Area is located in San Bernardino County, California in the BLM's California Desert Conservation Area.

Sierra de Las Uvas Wilderness Study Area Photo by Quetzal Torres

Sierra de Las Uvas Wilderness Study Area is located in the Desert Peaks region of southern New Mexico.

Sutton Mountain Wilderness Study Area Photo by Tyler Roemer

Sutton Mountain Wilderness Study Area is located in the John Day Basin of Central Oregon.

Tracy Ridge Inventoried Roadless Area Photo by Tom Tefft

Tracy Ridge Inventoried Roadless Area is located in the Allegheny National Forest.

Wahweap-Paradise Wilderness Study Area Photo by Ray Bloxham

Wahweap-Paradise Canyon Wilderness Study Area is located in the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument.