America’s Newest Collection of Public Lands
The National Conservation Lands are 35 million acres of our most ecologically rich and culturally significant lands–open to all–managed by the Bureau of Land Management. They are found throughout the West, Alaska and even extend to the East Coast. This newest collection of protected public lands and waterways stands alongside our national parks and wildlife refuges as guardians of America’s heritage and drivers of our country’s $646 billion outdoor recreation economy.
Freedom, Discovery and Beauty
The National Conservation Lands include National Monuments and National Conservation Areas, Wilderness and Wilderness Study Areas, Wild and Scenic Rivers, National Scenic and Historic Trails. These nationally significant lands embody freedom, discovery and unique outdoor experiences.
The National Conservation Lands give people from all walks of life the chance to experience the West as it once was, on their own terms. trout fishing and whitewater rafting in Colorado’s Browns Canyon National Monument to world-class rock climbing in Nevada’s Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area (NCA) to camping and mountain biking in California’s King Range NCA, the recreational opportunities afforded by the National Conservation Lands are unmatched—and they support the tourism and recreation economies of many rural Western communities. These local “gateway” communities are usually where the only development and facilities for these public lands are found. Almost none of the 871 National Conservation Lands sites have access fees.
The lands, rivers and trails within the National Conservation Lands have been designated for protection, but they are also incredibly vulnerable. They face abuse from reckless oil and gas drilling and irresponsible off-road vehicle use. They are subject to looting, vandalism and neglect from underfunding. Working together we can reduce these threats with on-the-ground work, partnerships and advocacy.
Threats to these lands also come from Congressional attacks on the Antiquities Act—a bedrock conservation law that has been used by 16 Presidents—8 from each party—to protect our nation’s heritage. Many of our national monuments and national parks would not exist today if they had not been protected under the Antiquities Act.