There is not a current land management issue in our Western public lands bigger than the explosion of catastrophic wildfires we have seen in recent years. Wildfire has always been a part of the Western landscape, but the fires we’ve seen in recent years are bigger in size, more intense, and more destructive in their aftermath than what had come prior. Western communities are still learning how to calculate the costs of these megafires, and the list of impacts is only growing:
- Entire towns have been wiped off the map
- Destruction of private property
- Closure of roads
- Destruction of ecosystems
- Ruined watersheds
- Loss of usable natural resources
- Destruction of wildlife and habitat
- Destruction of livestock
- Hazardous air quality that lingers for months
- Beloved recreation areas burned to ashes
If you live in the West, you are impacted by wildfire in countless ways, and a large percentage of the public is starting ask serious questions about how we got into this mess.
As an organization dedicated to responsible use of natural resources in public lands, we have been watching the shifting priorities in land management for decades. In our fights to protect public access to our public lands, we have seen firsthand the changes that have pushed our forests, rangelands, and grasslands to the brink.
Recent experience also suggests that the current public land management system is only making the threat of catastrophic wildfires worse. If we don’t find a way to change course soon, the West will become one big inaccessible burn scar depleted of its resources, its people, and its beauty.
We have created the Western Phoenix Project to develop an aggressive policy, public education, and litigation strategy to empower our land managers with a better system for protecting our communities. With your help we will do the work to reopen the roads, lands and trails of the West. We will hold the decision makers and stakeholders accountable who have prevented reasonable and responsible management of our public lands. We will offer free consulting and litigation strategy development to anyone who has been personally damaged by these catastrophic wildfires. Then, we will work with our growing team of organizations and allies to develop the land reform agenda we need to adopt to rise out of the ashes of this mess.
We hope you will join us and invite others to join as well. Together we will Rebuild the West!