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Five ways you can support public lands

Photo credit: Jerry and Marcy Monkman

It's National Public Lands Day! Good thing, too—because these incredible places need your help now more than ever.

Some powerful politicians are making an unprecedented push to sell off or transfer the public lands that are our shared American heritage: from hidden trails and favorite campsites to irreplaceable cultural landmarks.

It matters even more than you might think.

Photo credit: Julia Stotz

When agencies like the Forest Service or BLM make a plan to use our shared natural resources, they must consider the needs of different groups: from backcountry campers who want a wilderness experience to ranchers who need space to graze cattle. Balancing those interests is tough, and the results aren’t always perfect—but everyday Americans have the right to appeal for changes.

When public lands lose protection, that right goes with it. Our mountains, deserts, and forests could be sold or leased to private interests by states seeking short-term budget solutions at the expense of irreparable harm to our most treasured landscapes.

We believe public land is a resource entrusted to us by future generations. That's why we're working hard to keep it safe. If you agree, here are five ways you can help.

 

 
1. Learn your letters
Get to know the Land Water Conservation Fund. LWCF is the budgetary lifeblood for parks and open space in the United States, and it’s set to expire this year. One big challenge to renewal? Most voters haven’t even heard of it.
 
2. Pick up the phone
Call your representatives. It may sound old-school, but elected officials say there’s still no substitute for hearing directly from their constituents. Call, visit, or write to let them know that you support public land—and you vote.
 
3. Share the love
Introduce someone to the outdoors. Our public lands need all the friends they can get—but it’s hard to care about a place you’ve never been. Take a newbie on their first hike or camping trip and show them what your favorite open space has to offer.
 
4. Get your hands dirty
Attend a trail-building event. National Public Lands Day is the perfect opportunity to volunteer outdoors. Chip in (and meet like-minded conservationists) by helping plant native species, build trails—even restore historic buildings. 
 
5. Donate
The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people—and we can’t do it without your help.

Comments

Erik LaRue
We must protect our wild places and the creatures that live in them!
Kat
I couldn't imagine growing up without any place to go camping or hiking..my best childhood memories are camping with my family before we grew up. Now I no longer talk to any of my brothers or sisters.
Drew lind
Can we mail cash in? Instead of using the credit cards?

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