Public Lands, We the People

Constituting nearly one-third of the land mass of the U.S., public lands offer a critical solution to the climate and extinction crises and are fundamental to the clean air and water we depend upon for human health.

Throughout the month of July, the Aspen Institute Energy & Environment Program in partnership with The Wilderness Society hosted the virtual series Public Lands, We the People: The Critical Role Public Lands Play in Solving the Climate and Biodiversity Crises to collect big ideas from thought leaders, change makers and the public for the future of our public lands.

The series explored innovative ways in which public lands can be managed to more equitably benefit people and nature, including engaging tribes, people of color and lower-income communities that have been excluded from public lands decision-making. The health and well-being of future generations and our planet depend on our ability to re-imagine and expand the promise of public lands.

Public Lands, We the People: Creating a Healthy and Just Future for All,” is the culmination of the month-long virtual series. The report offers key guiding principles and critical policy recommendations for public lands’ big role in climate solutions as a natural tool to rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, halt biodiversity loss, improve community health and well-being, create new sustainable economic opportunities and enhance the resilience of natural systems. Read the report here.