Fact Sheet

State of the Wild: Unfinished Business

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Nearly two dozen bills are pending on Capitol Hill to safeguard more of America's ancient forests, colorful canyons, sagebrush deserts, and snow-capped peaks.  As the second session of the 112th Congress gets underway, Pew's Campaign for America's Wilderness is working with state partners across the country to win passage of these pieces of legislation, which together would designate more than 2 million acres of new wilderness across 11 states.

A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.President Gerald R. Ford, 1974

Yet even as citizens from all walks of life are working to preserve the nation's unspoiled places as a natural legacy for future generations, some in Congress are attempting to roll back decades-old protections on more than 60 million acres by supporting the Wilderness and Roadless Area Release Act.

With only 5 percent of America's land permanently protected as wilderness, now is not the time to move backward. As President Theodore Roosevelt put it, “The nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased, and not impaired, in value.”

Photo Gallery: Pending Wilderness Legislation

Download the full document: State of the Wild (PDF)

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Susan Whitmore

Director, Communications

202.540.6430