Press Release

Public lands are critical to tackling climate and extinction crises

San Bernardino National Forest, CA.

San Bernardino National Forest, CA.

Ron Kroetz, flickr.

The 30-by-30 goal is to protect 30 percent of the nation's land and waters by the year 2030.

WASHINGTON (October 22, 2019) – The Wilderness Society fully endorses the goal of protecting 30 percent of the nation’s land and water by 2030, described in the resolution introduced today by Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM), Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), and other leaders.   

The congressional resolution aims to immediately address the global extinction and climate crises. Our nation’s public lands can and should be part of a meaningful solution to these intricately connected global challenges.   

The Wilderness Society issued a statement from Executive Director Melyssa Watson:  

“We must protect a connected network of healthy lands and waters in the United States to halt these unprecedented threats to our future. Along with phasing out fossil fuel extraction, conserving nature will help tackle climate change, slow the quickening loss of irreplaceable wildlife, protect our clean air and water, and help people adapt to a rapidly changing world.  

“The United States must lead in addressing these urgent global crises and there is no better place to start than on our public lands. We applaud Senators Udall and Bennet for their visionary call to action.”  

The Trump administration has presided over the largest rollback of public lands protections in our country’s history, stripping conservation from more than 153 million acres of land and water.  

To address the global climate and extinction crisis, The Wilderness Society works with local, regional and national partners to:  

Reverse and prevent further conservation rollbacks on public lands to protect critical ecosystems and sacred cultural lands. 

Build a system of protected areas and restore degraded lands that together sustain a thriving diversity of life. 

Ensure equitable access to public lands and a healthy environment for all people. 

The Wilderness Society, founded in 1935, is the leading conservation organization working to protect wilderness and inspire Americans to care for our wild places. With more than one million members and supporters, The Wilderness Society has led the effort to permanently protect 111 million acres of wilderness and to ensure sound management of our shared national lands.