Wild Lands

Public wild lands in the USA belong to everyone. The majority of public lands in the United States are held in trust for the American people by the federal government and managed by one of the federal branches of government, such as the BLM, the Forest Service or our National Park system.  EcoFlight works to protect our public wild lands from the threat of harmful fossil fuel or other detrimental development, and to protect the ecological integrity of roadless areas and wildlife habitat and corridors.

The ultimate protection for the wildest of our public lands is the designation of wilderness.  The USA currently has 235 million acres of our federal wild lands permanently protected.

 

Wild Lands by state
Arizona
California
Colorado
Idaho
Montana
Nevada
New Mexico
Oregon
Washington
Wyoming
AZ CA CO ID MT NV NM OR WA WY
FLIGHTS: Wild Lands
2013 Flight Across America - Wild Land Designations
State: Colorado, New Mexico, Utah
Description: Flight Across America (FLAA) 2013 focused on the multiple designations of wild land protections that exist in today’s era, and the threats that wilderness quality lands are facing in the West.  Continue reading...
Arizona - Proposed Rosemont Copper Mine
State: Arizona
Region: Santa Ritas
Description: In 2012 the USFWS announced plans to establish more than 838,000 acres as critical habitat for the endangered jaguar. The habitat area would include the Santa Ritas, where the proposed copper mine would be located.
California, Mojave Desert -  Desert Protection Act of 2011
State: California
Region: Southern California
Description: The California Desert Protection Act hopes to create new national monuments, add acreage to the wIlderness preservation system and increase the size of several parks in the area. If passed, this act would protect this desert's unrivaled natural beauty, rich history, biodiversity, and recreational opportunities... read more
Colorado - Mamm Peak Roadless Area
State: Colorado
Region: Western Slope
Description: The Mamm Peak roadless area is located approximately 8 miles south of Rifle, on the north slope of Battlement Mesa. With dramatic peaks, grassy meadows, steep shale cliffs, and thick forests, this roadless area is more than just a majestic scenic resource.
Colorado - Pawnee National Grassland
State: Colorado
Region: East of Fort Collins and Greeley Colorado
Description: The nearly 200,000-acre Pawnee National Grassland, east of Fort Collins in Colorado, is a mixed-grass prairie that supports an incredible diversity of life. Continue reading...
Colorado - Roadless Areas
State: Colorado
Region: Mamm Creek, Currant Creek, Kannah Creek, Flat Tops
Description: After a decade of litigation, rulemaking and public input, Colorado's Roadless Areas are surrounded by much discussion. In April of 2011, the Forest Service re-issued its proposed roadless rule for Colorado, with the intent of it being “at least as protective…and preferably more protective…than the 2001 rule”... read more
Colorado, Browns Canyon - Proposed Wilderness
State: Colorado
Region: Arkansas River
Description: On December 10th, 2013 Senator Mark Udall introduced the Browns Canyon National Monument and Wilderness Act into the Senate. The Senator’s bill is a well-balanced approach that accommodates input from rafting outfitters, fishing guides, local leaders and ranchers.  It creates a 22,000 acre national monument and designates 10,000 acres as wilderness.... read more
Colorado, Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area
State: Colorado
Description: The 60,000 acre Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area is the core of Colorado's third National Conservation Area (NCA), which protects Big and Little Dominguez canyons and the wildlife and solitude that are found in great abundance there... read more
Colorado, Eagle County - Proposed Wilderness
State: Colorado
Description: With newly announced interest from Senator Mark Udall, Hidden Gems lands in Summit, Pitkin and Eagle counties are one step closer to becoming Wilderness. The campaign continues to build community support and work with elected officials to ultimately get a bill passed in Congress... read more
Colorado, Gunnison County - Proposed  Wilderness
State: Colorado
Description: The Hidden Gems Wilderness Campaign, a citizen-generated plan, is seeking designation of major new wilderness additions on the White River and Gunnison National Forests and nearby BLM lands, to grant the highest protection to some of Colorado’s most precious and threatened public lands... read more
Colorado, Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area
Region: West-Central
Description: Just north of Montrose in west-central Colorado, the Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area is a diverse landscape ranging from adobe badlands to rugged pinon and juniper-covered slopes. The NCA supports a variety of upland, riparian, and aquatic wildlife species and habitats... read more
Colorado, Hermosa Creek
State: Colorado
Region: San Juan National Forest, Southwest Colorado
Description: The San Juan National Forest and stakeholders in southwest Colorado are crafting plans for the future of the 150,000-acre Hermosa Roadless Area, and over 62 miles of Hermosa Creek and tributaries. The Hermosa Creek watershed encompasses one of Colorado's largest and most biologically diverse forests... read more
Colorado, Piñon Canyon
Description: The uniqueness of the Canyonlands owes primarily to its prehistoric sites, which have remained almost completely undisturbed. The establishment of the Piñon Canyon Maneuver Site (PCMS) touched off a bitter battle with landowners and evolved into a high-stakes condemnation of private property... read more
Colorado, Pitkin County - Proposed Wilderness
State: Colorado
Region: Pitkin County
Description: The Hidden Gems Wilderness Campaign, a citizen-generated plan, is working with stakeholders and congressional leaders, seeking designation of major new wilderness additions to the wilderness system in Colorado. A growing number of citizens and businesses have voiced their support for the effort... read more
Colorado, San Juan Mountains - Proposed Wilderness
State: Colorado
Description: The San Juan Mountains Wilderness Act in the southwestern corner of Colorado will designate 33,000 acres of spectacular wild lands as wilderness, both expansions of current wilderness areas such as Lizard Head and Mount Sneffels wilderness areas and also to establish a new area called McKenna Peak in western San Miguel County, and create the Sheep Mountain Special Management Area along the alpine ridge between San Miguel and San Juan Counties, and prohibit oil and gas development in Naturita Canyon near Norwood...contimue reading...
Colorado, Summit County - Proposed Wilderness
State: Colorado
Region: Colorado's White River National Forest
Description: Senator Mark Udall is working with citizens to craft a wilderness plan to protect proposed Hidden Gems wilderness in Summit, Eagle and Pitkin counties. A bill introduced by Jarid Polis protects 166,000 acres of wildlands as wilderness and special management areas, including a portion of Summit County... read more
Colorado, Vermillion Basin
State: Colorado
Description: EcoFlight has been flying Colorado’s spectacular Vermillion Basin for many years to protect it from damaging oil and gas leasing. In June 2010, the BLM’s Little Snake Field Office announced that the Vermillion Basin will be closed from all future oil and gas leasing and drilling... read more
Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
State: Idaho, Montana, Wyoming
Region: Northwest Wyoming, Southern Montana and Southeastern Idaho
Description: The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is one of the last remaining large, nearly intact ecosystems in the northern temperate zone of our planet. A 20-million-acre ecosystem requires constant attention to ensure the long-term sustainability of pristine watersheds and abundant wildlife... read more
Idaho - Boulder-White Clouds Mountain Range
State: Idaho
Description: Located in the Sawtooth and Salmon Challis National Forests, and without a single road to separate them, the Boulder and White Cloud mountain ranges in central Idaho are home to a vast diversity of wildlife species and constitute part of the largest unprotected roadless areas in the contiguous U.S... read more
Idaho - Pioneer Mountain Range
State: Idaho
Description: The Pioneer Mountains region supports tremendous wildlife populations, large working farms and ranches and a wide diversity of ecosystem types. The vast relatively untouched sagebrush habitat is a stronghold for sage grouse, a refuge for the pygmy rabbit and a key migration corridor for pronghorn antelope... read more
Idaho - Salmonstone Campaign
State: Idaho
Region: Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
Description: The goal of the Salmon Headwaters to Greater Yellowstone campaign, or "Salmonstone", is to sustain and enhance landscape connectivity on public lands between the Central Idaho and Greater Yellowstone Ecosystems.  These landscapes each serve as wild refuges for some of the continent's most threatened and rare wildlife, and fish populations.
Montana - An Overview
State: Montana
Description: Bruce Gordon and Jane Pargiter take off in their Cessna 210 every summer and are lucky enough to spend 30 to 40 days flying collaborative groups and the press over Montana to give them the big bird’s eye view perspective on Montana’s environmental challenges... read more
Montana - Badger Two Medicine Area
State: Montana
Region: Glacier
Description:

The B2M is a Traditional Cultural District (TCD) under the National Historic Preservation Act because of its religious and cultural significance to the Blackfeet Nation. For over 30 years, citizens, energy companies and the federal government have been battling over oil and gas leases in the area.

Montana - Lee Metcalf Wilderness
State: Montana
Region: Southwest Montana
Description: Every year, thousands come to Montana to enjoy the wilderness area named in honor of Lee Metcalf. 2013 marks the 30th anniversary of the designation of the Lee Metcalf Wilderness – 259,000 acres distributed across the Madison Range in southwest Montana... Continue reading...
Montana, North Fork of the Flathead River
State: Montana
Region: Whitefish, Montana
Description:

Conservation of wildlife habitat and corridors, protection of ecosystems spanning jurisdictional boundaries.

EcoFlight has provided the incomparable aerial perspective of the magnificent North Fork of the Flathead for governors’ staff, journalists, filmmakers and conservationists and policy makers. The Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, spanning the border of Montana and Alberta, is a designated World Heritage Site.  Continue reading...

Montana, Rocky Mountain Front - Heritage Act
State: Montana
Description: The Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act is a collaborative effort to add further protections to this magnificent landscape. In 2011 Senator Max Baucus announced that he is sponsoring the bill, saying it has a good chance of being the first wilderness designation in the state since the early 1980s... read more
Montana, Southwestern Crown of the Continent
State: Montana
Description: A vast watershed and series of pristine mountain lakes that feed the Clearwater and Blackwater Rivers (of Robert Redford fame), the Seeley-Swan Valley is surrounded on all sides by towering peaks, intact ecosystem and abundant wildlife. It is a landscape that epitomizes western American wilderness... read more
Montana, Upper Missouri Breaks - National Monument
State: Montana
Description: Having been designated as a national monument by President Clinton in 2001, this remote and beautiful landscape, with 149 miles of the Missouri River corridor designated as a National Wild and Scenic River, has finally begun to be recognized as a national treasure... read more
Nevada, Pine Forest Range
State: Nevada
Description: The Pine Forest Range in Northern Nevada has long been a point of destination for anglers, hunters and outdoor enthusiasts. Presently, the range, including Blue Lakes, is dotted by BLM wilderness study areas which, in place since the late 70s, often disallow for much needed conservation work... read more
New Mexico - Rio Grande del Norte
State: New Mexico
Description: On March 25th 2013, President Obama signed legislation to protect 240,000 acres of the Rio Grande del Norte region of New Mexico through a national monument designation.
New Mexico, Chaco Canyon - National Historic Park
State: New Mexico
Region: Northwestern New Mexico
Description: Chaco National Historical Park is designated as a World Heritage Site and is one of the finest examples of Puebloan culture centers in the Southwestern United States, yet it too is impacted by intensive energy development. Natural gas fields, coal and uranium mines, and coal-fired power plants are especially prevalent... read more
New Mexico, Organ Mountains - Desert Peaks National Monument
State: New Mexico
Region: Las Cruces
Description: On May 21st 2014, President Obama designated the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, becoming the largest National Monument of his presidency.... read more
New Mexico, Otero Mesa
State: New Mexico
Description: Otero Mesa, located in rural southern New Mexico, lies south of the Sacramento Mountains and west of the Guadalupe Mountains. This 1.6 million acre basin is the largest and wildest Chihuahan Desert grassland left on public lands in the U.S. and is targeted for national monument status.. read more
North Dakota - Killdeer Mountains
State: North Dakota
Region: Western North Dakota
Description: The Killdeer mountains of North Dakota are located a short distance northwest of the town of Killdeer.  This area is part of the badlands and was the site of the infamous Battle of Killdeer Mountain.  EcoFlight flew members of the Killdeer Mountain Alliance over the scenic area’s of these mountains and the nearby oil and gas development, which is threatening cultural, historical and recreational uses of the region. Continue reading...
Oregon, Owyhee Canyonlands - Proposed Wilderness
State: Oregon
Region: Southeast Oregon
Description: The Owyhee Canyonlands region consists of over 1.9 million acres and is home to a thriving diversity of plant and animals species, including sage grouse, pronghorns, big horn sheep, and golden eagles.  This area also provides rich recreational opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts of all types... read more
Utah - San Rafael Swell
Region: Central Utah
Description: The San Rafael Swell, with its miles of twisting sandstone spires, towering mesas and hoodoos, has long been a draw for hiking and canyoneering, and parts of the area have been considered for protection under various designations such as national park, national monument, national conservation area, and wilderness.
Utah, Desolation Canyon
State: Utah
Region: Uinta Basin
Description: The Desolation Canyon area is one of the largest roadless areas in the U.S. It's also sitting on top of a large oil formation, making it a target for drilling. The region has had a history of attempts to balance uses of the land. In 2012, the Obama Admnistration approved a project to allow nearly 1,300 new wells... read more
Utah, Greater Canyonlands
State: Utah
Description: The Greater Canyonlands area extends beyond Canyonlands National Park over 1.4 million acres. Threatened by off-road vehicle abuse, oil and gas, nuclear and tar sands mining, this area contains scenic getaways for tourists, 12,000 year old archeological sites, and a rich history of Native American culture.... read more
Washington, Yakima Basin - Western Governors Association 2012
State: Washington
Region: Pacific Northwest
Description: EcoFlight flew governors and their staff over proposed Alpine Lakes wilderness; an integrated water management plan in the Yakima River Basin; the wildlife overpass on I-90 and some of the great natural areas that Washington has to offer, like the Snoqualmie Summit and the Cascade Mountain Range... read more
Wilderness - 50th Anniversary
State: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming
Region: Western United States
Description: This year, 2014, marks the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act...The 1964 Wilderness Act defines "Wilderness" as an area “...affected primarily by the forces of nature, with the imprint of man's work substantially unnoticeable...where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain...”
Wyoming - Red Desert
State: Wyoming
Description: The Red Desert is one of the few remaining great high elevation deserts left in the United States, and is considered by many the last truly wild place in the west. Within its 6 million acres are towers of sandstone, colorful badlands, slot canyons, and the largest chain of shifting sand dunes in North America. Continue reading...
Wyoming, Absaroka Beartooth Front
State: Wyoming
Region: Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
Description:

The Shoshone National Forest in northwest Wyoming offers world class recreational opportunities and includes parts of the Wind River, Beartooth, and Absaroka mountain ranges. A Management Plan revision process is currently underway to draw attention to high-priority wild areas in need of permanent protection... read more

Wyoming, Bighorn Basin - Fifteen Mile Basin
State: Wyoming
Region: Bighorn Basin
Description: Citizens are asking the BLM to render the largely pristine Fifteen Mile Basin unavailable to oil and natural gas development, linking three Wilderness Study Areas and preserving their importance as places that support the livelihoods of citizens and wildlife alike... read more
Wyoming, North Fork of the Powder River
State: Wyoming
Region: Bighorns
Description: Located about 30 miles southwest of Buffalo in Johnson County, the North Fork of the Powder River wilderness proposal area is surrounded by private land. Access to the area is virtually impossible by foot. The overflight provided a useful perspective for assessing the the North Fork Powder River Wilderness Study area, and additional 6,000 acre citizens' wilderness proposal area read more...