Our community has had a lot of heart this year. 2020 has been full of change, compassion, perseverance and let’s be honest, a lot of challenges, here in our backyard and across the nation. Civic engagement soared with Americans voting in record numbers—Colorado had one of the highest turnout rates in the country—and marching in the streets for racial and social justice. At the same time, the pandemic nudged people outdoors, and we all had an opportunity to reconnect with nature and fall more in love with our public lands.
Like all issues we care deeply about, civic engagement is critical to protecting wilderness and public lands. Public lands aren’t inherently protected, and that means they are frequently under threat from commercial interests including logging, mining, privatization and oil and gas extraction. Our community is well aware of these threats in places like the Thompson Divide and Homestake Valley, and other threats simmer on public lands across our region.
Fortunately, the government is required to provide opportunities for public participation in deciding how our public lands are managed and whether they are protected or developed. The heart of Wilderness Workshop’s work is participating in these decision-making processes and advocating for protecting wilderness, wildlife, water and healthy ecosystems. Fundamental to achieving this work is you, the public—everyone who uses and loves public lands!
We are so grateful to our members and supporters who enable us to do this important work on behalf of our public lands. Yet we can’t do it alone! Community engagement in our public land protection efforts is key to our success.
In this year when so much has changed and often felt out of our control, there are still simpleyet important ways you can make a real difference and help protect public lands—365 days a year. Thank you for continuing to support wild lands, so that future generations will also be able
to say “I Heart Public Lands.”
- Become an activist. When you join our email list, you’ll receive updates on how to take meaningful action for our lands. These might include writing a letter to our representatives or guidance on composing a letter to the editor. Your voice is important and we want to help ensure it’s as effective as possible.
- Pledge your support for the 30 by 30 Initiative, a worldwide campaign that calls for conserving 30% of the planet’s lands and waters by 2030, in order to reverse the effects of climate change. In Colorado that means we need to protect 14 million acres in the next 10 years! Visit our webpage to find out more and pledge to help.
- Stay engaged and vote. Local elections are just as important as national ones—and they happen more frequently. Inform yourself about candidates and issues so that you’re voting for public lands every time there’s an election.
- Be an ambassador. Talk to your friends and family about public lands issues, and encourage them to support Wilderness Workshop and take action too. You can also download the “I Heart Public Lands” graphics here and share it on your favorite social media platforms.
- Visit your favorite trail or try something new. Whether it’s a hike, birdwatching, cross-country skiing or a snowshoe, spending time in nature reduces stress, anxiety and depression. You can deepen your appreciation for our public lands (and become inspired to protect them!) by spending more time in nature.
- Join us for a hike, restoration project or lecture. Check out our Naturalist Nights and Snow Days schedule for our winter programming inside and out of doors. In the summer, we’ll continue to offer opportunities to explore our local public lands, learn about wild places that are threatened and get your hands dirty by helping out on one of our restoration projects.