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.
See a visual roundup of this year’s top conservation goals.
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Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley have introduced The Oregon Wildlands Act to preserve morethan 100,000 acres of southwest Oregon wilderness, over 250 miles of Wild and Scenic Rivers, and almost 120,000 acres as a national recreation area. Here are five reasons to support this important legislation. Read More
New Mexico's Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks, located in Doña Ana County, are the crossroads of the area's diverse historical and natural culture, spanning thousands of years of human history and use. Senators Tom Udall (D-NM) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) have introduced legislation to designate wilderness within the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument. Read More
As winter grudgingly gives way to spring, both the Obama administration and the U.S. Congress have been planting seeds for growing significant public lands protections across the country. Read More
Areas Under Consideration for Protection From Oregon to Tennessee