Pew Partners With ‘This American Land’ to Showcase Wilderness

Contact: Susan Whitmore,, 202.540.6430

Washington, DC - 08/20/2012 - Kicking off its second season this month, “This American Land,” a television series that delves into important environmental issues, will feature segments on efforts to protect wilderness across the country. Pew partnered with the program’s production company, Environment News Trust, to showcase these special places and the diverse coalitions of people hoping to safeguard them for future generations to use and enjoy.

“We are delighted to help spotlight some of the people working at the local level to ensure that the nearby wild areas they love will forever be around for hiking, hunting, fishing, camping, canoeing, and more,” said Mike Matz, director of wilderness programs at the Pew Environment Group. “They come from different backgrounds and interests and use our public land in various ways, but they find common ground in the desire to keep some of it just as it is as a legacy to their grandchildren.”

Season 2 of “This American Land,” which is carried on PBS stations across the country, will include segments on efforts to designate wilderness in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, and Tennessee. The first episode tells the story of an artist, sportsmen, timber mill owner, and conservationists who have teamed up to secure permanent protection for part of Tennessee’s Cherokee National Forest. Coalition leader Jeff Hunter takes viewers on a scenic hike along a stream deep in the woods, as advocates explain their relationships to the land and why they believe it should remain wild.

“Our mission is to bring our viewers the kind of serious yet entertaining conservation journalism that broadens their knowledge of critical issues with stories that they won’t see anywhere else,” said executive producer Gary Strieker. “Each segment will focus on unique and little-known places that deserve federal protection as wilderness areas.”

Colorado Rockies

Colorado’s Rocky Mountains are a paradise for hiking, skiing, mountain biking and much more. In order to protect some hidden gems for future generations, local leaders are working with members of Congress to designate a few of the best wild places as protected wilderness.


Tennessee Wilderness

In Tennessee, a diverse group of local hikers want to see 20,000 acres of the Cherokee National Forest designated by Congress as a protected wilderness area.

Get to know this corner of the southern Appalachian forest and advocates including an artist, woodworker, and campaign leader Jeff Hunter, in this episode of "This American Land," produced in partnership with The Pew Charitable Trusts.



Gold Butte

A campaign to protect Nevada's Gold Butte area, just a few miles north of the Las Vegas strip, is bringing together Moapa Paiute Indians, casino executives and nature photographers.

Explore a little known piece of the Mojave Desert, rich in petroglyphs, ancient cultural sites, and early pioneer history in this episode of "This American Life," produced in partnership with The Pew Charitable Trusts.



California Desert

The desert around California's Death Valley is rich with Joshua trees, junipers and wildlife. But mining and other industrial development threaten this fragile environment, which is why many want to see Congress protect some special places as wilderness, national park and national monument, and set aside other areas for off-highway vehicle use.

Follow local guide Tom Budlong, a date farmer and a member of the Timbisha Shoshone Indian Tribe through the Mojave Desert in this episode of "This American Land," produced in partnership with The Pew Charitable Trusts.

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