Public lands, or lands owned by the government, can help enhance lives across communities with various uses. These include usage for recreation, historic preservation, and nature conservation. However, some groups threaten the benefits reaped by public lands, wanting to sell them to natural resource extraction firms.
In reaction, communities and organizations have tried to take a stance on protecting public lands. Read on to discover more about this and why it is so important.
Why Should We Protect Land?
First, it might be worth sharing why protecting public land is so critical. The truth is that weak protection of land in communities can result in corruption, displacement, and conflict, disrupting the natural flow of ecosystems and lives in society. Damage to land effectively undermines our world’s efforts to enhance peaceful communities and thriving biodiversity because public lands can support ecosystems and our economies.
After all, the historic preservation, natural conservation, and local wildlife of public land in a specific place can attract tourists from around the globe. In the US alone, hundreds of millions of visitors call upon national parks each year. At the same time, many decide to camp and trek across a variety of public lands, including national forests. Thus, public lands are also vital to nearby small businesses in communities that depend on the sales of tourists to stay afloat.
Because public lands are critical to our communities and environment, many non-profits and other organizations have been working hard to protect them through community measures.
Some communities turn to holistic conservation approaches when trying to protect land, considering the impact on humans as well as biodiversity and placing equal importance on social and ecological goals. For example, some organizations have been utilizing a combination of law, policy advocacy, scientific methods, and strategic operations to preserve wildlands. By doing this, biodiversity and wilderness in surrounding areas have managed to be protected thus far.
Focus on Harmful Strategies
Communities have concluded that the highest priority usage of public lands is to offer a safe place for wildlife to thrive by protecting the ecological systems embracing them. This is especially the case as the global warming crisis continues to loom and threaten the existence of our most precious species. With this in mind, many strategies have focused on land uses that harm our ecosystems and biodiversity. This includes the devastation of fossil fuel extraction, off-road vehicle use, and industrial logging, to name a few!
Thus, communities have continued to innovate environmental policies and strategic collaborations to prompt public land conservation in local areas, hoping that biodiversity will have a further chance to thrive.
Recognition of Indigenous Communities
We cannot discuss the protection of public lands without recognizing the history of injustice suffered by indigenous communities displaced from conservation efforts across America. Thus, many measures focus on restoring equity to these communities and their ancestral lands, a mission still being worked towards today. So far, this effort has been partly successful, with many portions of land being reclaimed in an approach known as ‘land back.’
Another method taken by communities is the introduction of community forests to some societies across the US. Community forests allow locals to reap conservation benefits and have helped protect millions of acres of land from real estate investors. One example we can take a look at is Oregon’s fir forests.
Preserving forests and other public lands is an incredibly effective way to drive social impact, providing environmental, economic, and social benefits to small and big communities alike. When measures are carried out properly, public land conservation can offer local residents access to safe and healthy outdoor areas, celebrating environmental justice across the US.
We can learn many things from this article, including the fact that the requirement to protect public land across America has never been as prominent as it is today. While some measures have helped improve the situation and save a range of species from extinction so far, much more needs to be accomplished to ensure the well-being of our planet remains sound.
Moreover, the devastation of public lands may be more severe than you first thought. A loss of land can cause many problems for both people and animals, making it necessary that community measures continue to address this.
All in all, by volunteering your efforts or donating to organizations that strive towards land preservation goals, you can help make a considerable difference to benefit our environment.