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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WASHINGTON—On Sept. 17, 2014, five champions of the modern wilderness movement will be recognized for their contributions to protecting the finest U.S. public lands at a gala dinner celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act. The Honorable Sally Jewell, Counselor to the President John Podesta, and Outdoor Afro CEO Rue Mapp will deliver remarks. Historian and author Douglas... Read More
Less than an hour east of downtown Seattle lie the beautiful Alpine Lakes Wilderness and the valleys of the Pratt River and the Middle and South forks of the Snoqualmie River. Read More
Before lawmakers left town in August, Representative Jared Polis (D-CO) introduced legislation to safeguard more than 58,000 acres of wilderness and create other protective designations. The Rocky Mountain Recreation and Wilderness Preservation Act (H.R. 5311) would protect mid-elevation forests, alpine lakes, and rivers in Colorado’s Eagle and Summit counties, places that are known for their... Read More