The Unfinished Business of Protecting Wild Places

The Unfinished Business of Protecting Wild Places

With a major election behind us, policymakers, pundits, and the public will be looking for evidence that Congress and the White House can move forward on issues of importance to a majority of Americans. 

With that in mind, it’s safe to say that as a nation we have no firmer common ground than our literal common ground—the lands we cherish for hunting, fishing, hiking, and camping. For decades, presidents and members of Congress from both parties have held protection of these wild places as an honorable duty. Now should be no exception.

Sullivan Lakes, Anaconda-Pintler© John Gatchell

Sullivan Lakes, Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness, Montana

The Forest Jobs and Recreation Act (S. 37) would protect nearly 700,000 acres of Montana’s land in the western part of the state as wilderness.

For its part, Congress has the opportunity to safeguard some of our rapidly vanishing wilderness. Through the Wilderness Act, which this year celebrates its 50th anniversary, lawmakers have the authority to preserve the nation’s most biologically diverse federal lands.


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Joshua Reichert heads the environment program at The Pew Charitable Trusts.