The things we fight for

Our Issues

Bob Wick, BLM

Our focus is on tackling three intersecting crises: climate change, biodiversity loss and inequitable access to the outdoors.

Our focus is on tackling three intersecting crises: climate change, biodiversity loss and inequitable access to the outdoors.  

We believe that unlocking the power of public lands can help address all three.  

Making public lands part of the climate solution

Currently, the equivalent of about one-quarter of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions come from fossil fuels extracted on public lands and waters. Meanwhile, many areas rich with potential for solar and other renewable energy sources are underutilized. 

We advocate for policies on public lands that would sharply reduce fossil fuel development; ramp up responsible solar, wind and geothermal energy projects that avoid sensitive habitat and important cultural sites; and restore and protect landscapes to absorb climate emissions and help communities and species adapt. 

Addressing biodiversity loss and helping species adapt

Protected public lands like national parks, forests, wildlife refuges and wilderness areas sustain plant and animal species. These lands, and the linkages between them, are especially vital as climate change effects cause ideal habitat to shift and reduce the margin of error for wildlife to migrate and adapt. 

We work with partners to protect at least 30 percent of all U.S. lands and waters by the year 2030, prioritizing large, interconnected landscapes that will help species and communities endure. These places must be managed in a way that incorporates both the latest science and traditional Indigenous knowledge. We also support measures to defend, restore and strengthen protections for important cultural sites and ancestral homelands. 

Ensuring people benefit equally from wild nature and public lands

Public lands, including parks and open spaces both large and small, belong to everyone. But communities of color and low-income communities often face barriers to enjoying the outdoors. Marginalized communities are also systemically excluded from decision-making about these places, worsening that disconnect. 

We work to support and protect open space, including close to the urban areas where most people live. We’re also trying to enact programs that help communities enjoy health and other benefits from those places—including “outdoor equity funds,” which provide grants to increase outdoor access for young people—and supporting the efforts of civil rights and social justice partners to build a more inclusive conservation movement.