If the Protecting America’s Wilderness Act sounds familiar–it’s because you’ve heard of this public lands policy package before. Last year, the outdoor community advocated hard for the first iteration of then-called PAWA, a group of six bills that promised to protect 1.3 million acres of public lands and more than 1200 river miles. Unfortunately, PAWA fell short in 2020–but now in 2021 it’s back, better, and in need of your support.
What is Protecting America’s Wilderness Act Plus? This newly introduced package now includes eight bills:
- The Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy Act
- The Grand Canyon Centennial Protection Act
- The Wild Olympics Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers Act
- Colorado Wilderness Act of 2020
- The Northwest California Wilderness, Recreation, and Working Forests Act
- The Central Coast Heritage Protection Act
- The San Gabriel Mountains Foothills and Rivers Protection Act
- The Rim of the Valley Corridor Preservation Act
This will be the first major public lands/outdoor related vote of this new Congress, and the first vote happens in the House on Wednesday 9/24/21. It is imperative that outdoorists raise our voices on this issue to set the stage for protecting public lands and prioritizing the health of our environment during this new Congress.
Here’s two ways to take action:
- Tell your lawmakers to pass these public land protections using Outdoor Alliance’s FastAction tool here. Outdoor Alliance also has excellent resources and context to learn more about PAW+.
- Use American Alpine Club’s Phone2Action letter writing tool to write your reps here.
Why is it so important to take action right now? We’ll leave you with these words from our friends at Outdoor Alliance: “It’s incredibly important that the outdoor community shows up in force to support these efforts. Our support now not only promises to protect important outdoor landscapes, but also greases the skids for future protections. For new members of Congress especially, these early votes are a litmus test for public lands issues. Lawmakers need to hear right off the bat that their voters are enthusiastic about conservation and the outdoors – let’s make this public lands package the beginning, not the end, of what we accomplish together this Congress.”
Have any resources on PAW+ we’re missing? Send us an e-mail at email@example.com. and we’ll add ’em to this post!