Public Lands: The Underutilized Climate Solution

What are public lands anyway?

Who owns and manages public lands? What counts as public lands? And how can they be a powerhouse in solving the climate crisis? All of these questions and more are answered in our video:

Here's how you can help advocate for public lands:

Expanding Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument, which comprises 330,780 acres in Northern California, would mean more safeguards for Molok Luyuk — lands that are sacred to the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation — and create permanent connections between the currently-protected space and other key wildlife corridors for species. With the stroke of a pen, President Biden can use his powers under the Antiquities Act right now to take action to expand this monument and the San Gabriel Mountains in Southern California.

Imagine a landscape sprawling over 660,000 acres, rich in biodiversity and cultural heritage, located just south of Joshua Tree National Park. This is the vision for the Chuckwalla National Monument. An area brimming with life, from the resilient desert tortoise to the majestic bighorn sheep, and home to sacred sites of five Indigenous tribes. You can help preserve a one-of-a-kind landscape and expand access to outdoor recreation and education by signing our petition urging President Biden to establish a much-needed monument.

EnviroVoters is supporting the Pit River Tribe’s push for a national monument to permanently protect the sacred lands known as Sáttítla about 60 miles from Mount Shasta. Designating these lands as a monument would help protect tribal history and clean water for millions of people in Northern California. Underground aquifers in Sáttítla store as much water as California’s 200 largest surface reservoirs and deliver clean water all the way to the imperiled San Francisco Bay. With the stroke of a pen, President Biden can use his powers under the Antiquities Act to create the new 205,000-acre Sáttítla National Monument.

EnviroVoters is standing with the Fort Yuma Quechan Indian Tribe by asking President Biden to establish the Kw’tsán National Monument to permanently protect the Kw’tsán cultural landscape. The proposed monument covers over 390,000 acres in the California desert, currently managed by the Bureau of Land Management. With the stroke of a pen, President Biden can use his powers under the Antiquities Act to safeguard the traditional homelands and sacred sites of the Quechan People and protect biodiversity.

The evidence is undeniable: Southern California steelhead teeter on the brink of extinction. Historically, tens of thousands of Southern steelhead swam through Southern California rivers and streams. Today, it’s rare to see them in double digits, thanks to habitat loss, fragmentation, and the encroachment of urbanization. Our friends at CalTrout are sending a letter to the Fish and Game Commission urging them to list the Southern California steelhead as endangered under California’s Endangered Species Act.

California’s own Senator Alex Padilla has introduced The PUBLIC Lands Act to Congress. It would protect over 1 million acres of public lands and over 500 miles of rivers. Public lands are where we go to spend time with family and friends and find solace in nature. These landscapes are extremely effective at sequestering carbon, maintaining biodiversity and clean drinkable water, and inspiring people to be passionate about the environment. Demand Congress protect our public lands for the sake of our climate, our health, and our future.

You can also stand up for public lands by supporting our advocacy campaigns

We’re pushing for 5 national monument designations at the same time while fighting for Indigenous land protection, ecosystem conservation, and increasing access to nature. Support our campaigns with a donation today!

Shopping Basket

For over 50 years, California Environmental Voters has fought on the frontlines in our state’s toughest environmental battles. Just last year, we were instrumental in passing Senate Bill 253 — the strongest corporate pollution transparency law in the nation.

But wins like these are not possible without your help. Help us out with a gift this Earth Day →

The month of March is Public Lands Month, and we’ve got some big goals. We’re pushing for 5 national monument designations while fighting for clean water, Indigenous land protection, ecosystem conservation, and increasing access to nature. 

But we need your help to make these campaigns a success →