Across the U.S., millions of acres of land where we climb, bike, paddle, hike, and explore are protected as potential Wilderness designations. An amendment from Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), currently under consideration in Congress, would strip protections from all of these areas unless Congress acts to protect them in one year.
We understand that recent proposals from President Obama to protect portions of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge have raised concerns for Senator Murkowski about how our public lands are protected. However, withdrawing protections from millions of acres across the country does not seem to be the answer.
Areas managed as potential Wilderness are vital resources for the outdoor recreation community and the $646 billion outdoor recreation economy. Stripping these areas of their protection would cause more problems than it would solve.