Pew's work to protect America's public lands is designed to preserve the most important and unspoiled wild places for future generations to enjoy.
The idea of untouched wilderness is at the core of the American experience. Wild places offer opportunity for recreation and reflection, and represent our legacy to future generations. Only 2.5 percent of our federal public land outside of Alaska is permanently protected as wilderness — free of roads and industrial development and forever available for hiking, hunting, fishing and other pursuits. Many of these places are watersheds needing protection for clean water. Pristine forests enhance clean air and act as carbon sinks. Wilderness provides refuge for many threatened and endangered species and serves as valuable storehouses of biodiversity.
Since 2000, The Pew Charitable Trust has focused on achieving lasting protection for threatened wild lands held in public trust by the Federal government. We proactively work to preserve some of the nation's last, best, wild places by adding them to the National Wilderness Preservation System and through other protective designations, such as National Monuments. We provide local public lands protection advocates with expertise in campaign planning and implementation and assist with opinion research, communications and advocacy. The Pew U.S. Public Lands team partners with state coalitions and local citizen groups to support citizen wilderness proposals from every part of the country.
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See the stunning, fragile California desert habitats that are close to being designated as national monuments. "Designation means destination," says filmmaker Eva Soltes. "It puts [the three proposed areas] on the map, literally, and it puts them in tourist guides." Read More
Many public lands were protected this year. These gems are now safeguarded for wildlife to flourish and for the public to enjoy recreational activities amid unspoiled scenery. Conservation of these landscapes gives us plenty to be grateful for this Thanksgiving. Read More
Home to hundreds of wildlife species and striking vistas, the proposed Sand to Snow national monument is also "one of the most botanically diverse mountain ranges in the country," desert conservationist April Sall says. Read More