How to be a Public Lands Advocate
You’re a public lands fan. You love going out and exploring new places and taking epic scenery photos and showing your friends what our country has to offer. You appreciate land being protected and preserved for ourselves and future generations.
That’s all excellent! But are you a public lands advocate? Are you a next-level fan who fights to protect our lands? Are you willing to send letters and speak to elected officials and tell them why land conservation is important?
If you just went from enthusiastic nodding to hesitant shrugging, that’s totally fine! It sounds scary and time-consuming, but it’s actually really easy to be a public lands advocate. Here are some tips that the Conservation Alliance put together that you can follow even if you’re not a Conservation Alliance member.
Fall in love with public lands
In order to want to actively work to protect our public lands, you have to enjoy them first. Like, a lot. Get outside and fall deeply in love with the mountains, the rivers, the fields, and the trails, then go back home and fight for them.
Learn about your public lands
Identify your elected officials
Make a list of who your state representatives are and where they stand on public lands. The Outdoor Industry Association has a feature that gives you every official by zip code.
Sign advocacy letters
Forget about sitting down and struggling to write your own letter for all the different policy issues. There are usually online forms with prewritten text, where all you have to do is add your name and email address. It doesn’t get easier than that! You can start by taking action to protect Wild & Scenic Rivers and the LWCF!
Call or meet your elected officials
Those representatives you took notes on just a little while ago? Become buddies with them. Call them and voice your clear opinion about policy issues. Meet them at organized events. Invite them to a local trailhead to see firsthand why public lands matter.
Write an opinion editorial
Publish your opinions in local publications so your elected officials fully understand your commitment to our wild places. Also, this helps spread awareness throughout your community that public lands need constant protection.
Increase your social media advocacy
It’s 2018. We all know by know how impactful social media can be, especially for grassroots movements. Consider hitting pause on the selfies every now and then and post about policy issues, getting out to vote, and the importance of protecting our public lands. Bonus—photos of public lands are pretty darn Instagram-worthy!
Understand how your vote impacts public lands
Voting in every election is incredibly important. It’s a cornerstone of our democracy. Get to know where candidates stand on public lands issues, and then exercise your right to vote.