1. Many of the issues and threats to our public lands come from those who would seek to develop our wild places, rather than save it for a sustainable life for the future and our children.
2. These threats range from unchecked development to drilling in wild and natural places.
3. Developers already have access to more than 75 percent of our national forests and lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management. But some developers, and some in Congress, want even more access to our nation’s wildest places.
4. While there is a place for development on some public land, there are some places that are too wild to be developed, and must be protected for our children and grandchildren.
5. Our last wild places and open do so much for the environment, for wildlife and for the communities around them that get clean water and jobs from our growing recreation economy.
6. The oil industry, for example, has access to most of our public land. The industry leases tens of millions of acres of public land where they can look for oil, and thousands of permits to drill on our public lands. Drilling on public land can have a serious impact on the land and the surrounding environment, including pollution and a negative effect on wildlife.
7. The world’s last great wildernesses are shrinking at an alarming rate. In the past two decades, 10% of the earth’s wilderness has been lost due to human pressure.
8. Over the course of human history, there has been a major degradation of 52% of the earth’s ecosystems, while the remaining 48% is being increasingly eroded. “If this rate continues, we will have lost all wilderness within the next 50 years.
9. This wilderness degradation is endangering biodiversity, as well as the water cycle, the nitrogen cycle and pollination. Once they have been damaged or cleared, the wildernesses are gone for good; there is no scientific evidence that degraded eco-systems could ever return to their original condition.
10. They are being encroached on by logging, oil and gas exploration, mining, roads, urbanization and agriculture.
11. The environment footprint of humanity is truly massive, no other species has ever come close to us in terms of consuming and damaging so much of the world’s energy, resources and land area.