Resources - National Landscape Conservation System
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National Landscape Conservation System
The National Landscape Conservation System (Conservation System) contains some of the West’s most spectacular landscapes. Managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the Conservation System encompasses about 27 million acres in 11 western states with more than 850 protected areas designated as national monuments, national conservation areas, wild and scenic rivers, wilderness areas, and national trails. The Sonoran Institute has been a strong advocate for permanent protection for the Conservation System since its inception in 2000.
Landscapes of the American Spirit
A report that celebrates the 10th anniversary of the National Landscape Conservation System and its community partnerships. The report and the six profiles that follow offer a sampling of the varied and spectacular landscapes in the system and highlight the hard work of the ordinary citizens who, through their volunteer efforts, make sure these lands remain protected and accessible to anyone who wants to enjoy some of the last, best places to experience the cultural, historic and scenic richness of America.
Other NLCS Profiles to read and enjoy:
Arizona - San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area
A Special Place
California - Santa Rose & San Jacinto Mountains National Monuments
Colorado - Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area
Hypnotized by Nature's Beauty
Nevada - Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
Nature Next to Neon
Utah - Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
Walk Through 100 Million Years
Wyoming - National Historic Trails Interpretative Center
A Nation's Character Forged by Trails
Westwide - Landscapes of the American Spirit
All six profiles with a map of the NLCS.
Other Reports and Information on the National Landscape Conservation System
Western Landscapes in the Crossfire Report
Urban Growth and the National Landscape Conservation System
In July 2009, the Sonoran Institute released a new report, Western Landscapes in the Crossfire, which highlights the detrimental impacts of urban and rural growth on the BLM’s Conservation System. Specifically, the report examines the impact of growth on eight iconic BLM-managed land areas (National Monuments and National Conservation Areas) in Nevada and Arizona.
“The great promise of the Conservation System remains unfulfilled. Despite public enthusiasm for visiting and protecting these ‘crown jewel’ lands, most are underfunded and understaffed, making them highly vulnerable to vandalism, illegal off-highway driving, and resource destruction.”
- John Shepard, Sonoran Institute
March 2009 – President Obama grants permanent protection for the Conservation System.
Obama signs into law the “Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009.”
Read the White House Release / View the Video of President Obama Signing the Bill
March 2008 – Institute Leads Media Tour on NLCS Lands
In 2008, the Institute was chosen to lead a national media tour of NLCS properties in Arizona, including the Sonoran Desert National Monument and Las Cienegas National Conservation Area. The resulting media attention helped to convince the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee to vote in favor of permanent protection.
Congress moves closer to preserving Western beauty
By Faye Bowers | The Christian Science Monitor
March 14, 2008 Read Faye’s story drawn from her Sonoran Institute tour
BLM, groups push permanent protection of conservation areas
April Reese : Land Letter Western Reporter
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Read April Reese’s view of Conservation System lands in Arizona
July 2009 Western Dispatch – Searching for the Soul of America
“This is one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” -- Neil Armstrong, 1969
The American experience is rich with stories of frontier exploration. From the extraordinary journey of Lewis and Clark in search of the Northwest Passage to the legendary adventures of John Wesley Powell in his quest to conquer the mysteries of the Colorado River – the country and especially the West have been defined by frontier adventures.
July, 2009 marks the 40th anniversary of another major milestone in America’s quest to push boundaries and explore new frontiers -- the Apollo moon landing. The television images of Neil Armstrong descending the ladder onto the moon’s surface captivated the attention of the world, rekindling the exploration spirit that lies within us.
The Apollo landing and the Corps of Discovery journey, events separated by almost 165 years, have achieved almost mythical status in American folklore. Both were defining moments of bravery and exploration underscoring the need for humans to set out into the wild unknown. Wallace Stegner captures the essence of this idea perfectly:
“We simply need that wild country available to us, even if we never do more than drive to its edge and look in. For it can be a means of reassuring ourselves of our sanity as creatures, a part of the geography of hope.”
Where is that “wild country” today? Where will our children go to nurture their souls in the future? I have traveled the West extensively and there are still places to wander alone in the canyons, deserts, or mountains — but they are fast disappearing, and many are threatened. In fact, a new Sonoran Institute report explores this very issue.
Read the entire commentary by Luther Propst
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