#conservationlands15 Social Media Takeover, Jan 15th, Elkhorn Mountain Wilderness
January's #nationalconservationlands Top 15: National Conservation Lands Milestones
Each #conservationlands15 month will feature a Top 15 list. Today’s Top 15 puts the National Conservation Lands in perspective - from our history to our future.
#1 National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act is enacted into law, designates two BLM-managed Wild and Scenic Rivers (Rio Grande and Rogue); now, the BLM manages 69 such rivers — 1968.
#2 The Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail is one of two trails designated within the newly-minted National Trails System Act; now, the BLM has stewardship responsibilities for segments of 18 National Scenic and Historic Trails — 1968.
#3 King Range, on California’s rugged Lost Coast, is designated as the nation’s first National Conservation Area; today, the BLM manages 21 National Conservation Areas and Similar Designations — 1970.
#4 Federal Land Policy and Management Act enacted; establishes California Desert Conservation Area and directs the BLM to study lands under its stewardship for wilderness values — 1976.
#5 The BLM study process identifies Wilderness Study Areas for consideration by Congress for Wilderness designation; the BLM currently manages 588 Wilderness Study Areas - 1980.
#6 Yaquina Head in Oregon, including its stately lighthouse, is designated as the first Outstanding Natural Area to be managed by the BLM; today, there are five lighthouses located on National Conservation Lands - 1980.
#7 Montana’s Beartrap Canyon is designated as the first BLM wilderness; the BLM currently administers 221 wilderness areas — 1983.
#8 Congress creates the San Pedro River National Conservation Area in southern Arizona; in 1995, the American Bird Conservancy recognized the San Pedro as its first “globally important bird area” in the U.S. — 1988.
#9 Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante is designated the BLM’s first national monument by President Bill Clinton; today, the BLM manages 20 national monuments — 1996.
#10 Secretary of Interior Bruce Babbitt establishes the “National Landscape Conservation System,” now commonly referred to as the National Conservation Lands — 2000.
#11 First National Conservation Lands Science Grants are issued; to date, the program has funded a total of 182 science projects, nearly all for universities, non-profit research organizations, and other partners — 2000.
#12 Congress votes the National Landscape Conservation System into law to “conserve, protect, and restore nationally significant landscapes that have outstanding cultural, ecological, and scientific values for the benefit of current and future generations” — 2009.
#13 The 10th anniversary of the National Landscape Conservation System is celebrated with more than 90 BLM events from coast to coast; a new 15-year strategy for management of BLM conservation lands is established — 2010.
#14 Arizona’s Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument is recognized as the first International Dark Sky Province on BLM-managed lands — 2014.
#15 The National Conservation Lands celebrate their 15th anniversary as a system: 878 units totaling 31 million acres in 13 states! — 2015.
Photo of Elkhorn Mountain Wilderness by Bob Wick