Leave a wild legacy | TheUnion.com

Leave a wild legacy

As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Wilderness Act this September, it is a good time to reflect on the impacts and challenges that still lie ahead for our pristine wild lands. These 40 years have seen more than 106 million wild acres in 44 of the 50 states permanently protected by law – yet that is still less than 5 percent of our nation’s land. More can – and should – be done.

While Congress continues to designate spectacular, unspoiled land for wilderness protection – usually with bipartisan support – seven of every eight acres of wilderness in our country today remains unprotected by law.

Today our wild lands are at grave risk. Even as we celebrate preserving some of the nation’s most special wild places for future generations, this administration is working to roll back wilderness protection. In the last year, policy changes and secretive back-door deals have put tens of millions of acres of wilderness-quality lands at the mercy of the timber, oil and gas, mining and construction industries. We need to leave a wild legacy – not just memories.

Debbie Leal

Nevada City

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