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
New Mexico
FLIGHTS: Wild Lands
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 -  Desert Conservation and Recreation Act
State: California
Region: Southern California

In February 2016, President Obama designated the Sand to Snow, Castle Mountains and Mojave Trails National Monuments after hearing from thousands of supporters urging him to preserve these important lands. The designations come after nearly a decade of work by Senator Dianne Feinstein and countless others to ensure protections for these areas for recreation and important wildlife values... read more

California - Rim of the Valley
State: California
Region: Los Angeles
Description: The Rim of the Valley is a campaign to expand the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area by over 190,000 acres, more than doubling the size of the existing park. The expansion will enable the National Park Service and local communities to better protect natural resources and habitats, and provide improved access to nature for recreational and educational purposes.
California - San Gabriel Mountains
State: California
Region: Greater Los Angeles
Description: The San Gabriel Mountains provide 70% of the open space and 30% of the drinking water for LA County. The 346,177- acre monument, designated by Obama in 2014 contains rock art from ancient civilizations, an observatory, and recreation opportunities available to the over 17 million people in the region.
Colorado - BLM Royal Gorge Field Office
State: Colorado
Region: Eastern Colorado
Description: The BLM lands throughout the Royal Gorge region contain spectacular landscapes and wilderness characteristics that sustain our community’s economy and our land’s health. The Royal Gorge management plan revision is a critical process for updating how the region’s natural heritage and wilderness lands are conserved...
Colorado - Browns Canyon - Proposed Wilderness
State: Colorado
Region: Arkansas River
Description: In February 2015 President Obama designated Browns Canyon National Monument under the authority of the Antiquities Act. The act by the president came after years of work by the local community who built a diverse coalition supporting protection of the area, and a bill introduced by Colorado Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet in 2013..... read more
Colorado - Continental Divide Recreation and Wilderness Act
State: Colorado
Region: Summit, Eagle Counties
Description: On January 24, 2018 Senator Bennet and Representative Polis introduced companion legislation in both the House and Senate for the Continental Divide Recreation, Wilderness and Camp Hale Legacy Act to protect 96,000 acres of public land in Eagle and Summit Counties.
Colorado - Forest Health Index
State: Colorado
Region: Aspen; Roaring Fork Valley
Description: As climate change continues to trigger dramatic changes in our forest ecosystems, Aspen Center for Environmental Studies’ (ACES) For the Forest program is committed to producing groundbreaking scientific research on forest issues and actively restoring our forest landscapes. Educational initiatives include the Forest Health Index, which provides an annual “report card” for our watershed’s forests using over 20 indicators...
Colorado - Hermosa Creek
State: Colorado
Region: San Juan National Forest, Southwest Colorado
Description: In December of 2014 a bill passed both the House and the Senate that would protect the Hermosa Creek area and govern 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 - 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 - 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 - 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 - San Juan Mountains - Proposed Wilderness
State: Colorado

On April 19th, 2018 Colorado’s Senator Bennet introduced the San Juan Mountains Wilderness Act which would secure protections for nearly 60,000 acres in the heart of the San Juan Mountains. The bill would designate some of the state’s most iconic peaks as wilderness areas, including two fourteeners: Mount Sneffels and Wilson Peak. The bill would designate 31,488 acres of new wilderness areas, 21,675 acres as a Special Management Area, and would protect 6,590 acres of mineral withdrawal...continue reading...

Colorado - South Park
State: Colorado
Region: South Park
Description: South Park is a high-elevation basin ringed by mountains in central Colorado and is managed by the BLM’s Royal Gorge field office. The 1,000 square-mile basin contains over 200 miles of streams and riparian habitat and the headwaters of the South Platte River.
Colorado Gives Day - EcoFlight
State: Colorado
Description: Each December Coloradans come together with the common goal to strengthen the community by helping to power nonprofits. Community First Foundation and FirstBank partner to make this day rewarding for givers, nonprofits and the community as a whole.
Colorado Public Lands Day
State: Colorado
Description: From now on, the third Saturday in May will be known as Colorado Public Lands Day celebrating the significant contributions these lands have to our state.
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, 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, Piñon Canyon
State: Colorado
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, 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
Flight Across America 2013 - 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...
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 - High Divide
State: Idaho
Description: The High Divide is one of the most important linkage areas in the Northern Rockies, connecting valuable tracts of wildlife habitat: the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, Central Idaho, and the Crown of the Continent ecosystem. Ensuring wildlife can move through the High Divide to any of these core regions is essential to keeping healthy wildlife populations intact.
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 - Scotchman Peaks
Description: The Scotchman Peaks Roadless Area encompasses 88,000 acres of diverse and unique public lands in northern Idaho and northwestern Montana. Known for its thriving mountain goat herd, the area is also a refuge for rare fish and wildlife species such as bull trout and grizzly bear.
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

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, and in 2016 the BLM finally canceled the contested oil & gas lease.

Montana - Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Project
State: Montana
Region: Southern Crown of the Continent
Description: For the past decade, Montanans have worked together to hash out a lasting solution for our public lands in the Blackfoot-Clearwater valley. Timber industry reps, snowmobilers, outfitters and guides, and conservationists have collaborated to create a legislative proposal for a landscape-style approach to balancing the needs of timber and restoration, recreation and conservation in the Seeley and Ovando areas in the Southern Crown of the Continent.
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 - Rocky Mountain Front - Heritage Act
State: Montana
Description: In December 2014 the Rocky Mountain Front Outdoor Heritage Act was signed into law, creating 67,000 acres of wilderness and 208,000 acres of National Conservation Areas. The bill created 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 River 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
Montana - Wilderness Study Areas
State: Montana
Description: In December 2017 Senator Steve Daines and Congressman Greg Gianforte have introduced legislation that proposes to remove 449,500 acres from Wilderness Study Area designation throughout the state. These areas provide opportunities for prime backcountry recreation experiences and contain critical and secure habitat for fish and wildlife. The WSAs in this bill are dear to Montanans' hearts and deserve a fair and open process, but unfortunately conservation and wilderness groups were not included in discussions when the bill was being crafted.
Montana, North Fork of the Flathead River
State: Montana
Region: Whitefish, Montana

In December 2014, Congress passed the North Fork Watershed Protection Act to safeguard the North Fork Flathead River Valley (headwaters to Glacier Park and Flathead Lake). The legislation furnishes permanent protections on the U.S. side of the North Fork watershed and precludes new oil and gas development and mining.  Continue reading...

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 - Chaco Culture National Historical 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... 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
New Mexico - Rio Grande del Norte
State: New Mexico

President Trump’s April 26th Executive Order requires a “review” of national monuments created since 1996. The Department of the Interior (DOI) has set up a public comment process through May 26th for the National Monuments targeted by the order. The Department recently issued a list of 22 Monuments under review, along with five Marine National Monuments. Click here to submit your comments to protect our monuments.

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 - Bears Ears National Monument
State: Utah
Region: San Juan County

President Trump’s April, 2017 Executive Order called for “review” of national monuments created since 1996. The Department of the Interior (DOI) set up a public comment process for the National Monuments targeted by the order and the Bears Ears National Monument recieved overwhelming support from the public - over 685,000 messages of support in just 15 days!

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
Utah - San Rafael Swell
State: Utah
Description: The BLM is proposing an oil and gas lease sale for the Molen Reef region of the western San Rafael Swell—an area dense with cultural and archaeological sites and outstanding recreational opportunities. The agency’s initial decision to offer these leases in 2013 drew immediate and widespread criticism, with the BLM ultimately deciding that it hadn’t properly studied the cultural and archaeological resources in the area.
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: 2014 marked 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 - Absaroka Beartooth Front
State: Wyoming
Region: Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

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...
Wyoming - Palisades Wilderness Study Area
State: Wyoming
Region: Bridger-Teton and Targhee National Forests
Description: The 2008 Bridger-Teton National Forest Evaluation of Wilderness Potential ranked the area as 12 out of 12 in terms of wilderness potential, topping the scale in all categories evaluated including naturalness and undeveloped character, outstanding opportunities for solitude and unconfined recreation, special features, and manageability.
Wyoming - Public Lands Initiative
State: Wyoming
Description: The Wyoming Public Lands Initiative (WPLI) is a voluntary, collaborative, county-led process intended to result in one, multi-county legislative lands package that is broadly supported by public lands stakeholders in Wyoming.  The ultimate goal is a new federal law that governs the designation and management of Wyoming’s 44 Wilderness Study Areas (WSAs).
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 - Shoal Creek Wilderness Study Area
State: Wyoming
Description: Created in the 1984 Wyoming Wilderness Act, the Shoal Creek Wilderness Study Area (WSA) is a beautiful roadless area that forms the southern front of the Gros Ventre Range, reaching to the foothills of the Hoback basin.
Wyoming - Shoshone National Forest
State: Wyoming
Region: Northwest Wyoming
Description: The Shoshone National Forest in Northwest Wyoming contains parts of the Absaroka, the Beartooth and the Wind River Ranges and nearly 2.5 million acres of some of the most raw and rugged country in the Lower 48.