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WHAT ARE PUBLIC LANDS?
WHAT ARE PUBLIC LANDS? We are thrilled to partner with Parks Project to bring you educational resources about our national parks and public lands! Parks Project was founded to support the preservation and care of our parks. They work directly with more than 50 non-profit groups protecting parks and public lands in the U. S. and Canada. This Deck was built for high school students. CONSERVATION TIP IN THIS DECK Public lands managed through the Bureau of Land Management are protected in several different ways to protect animals, resources, and natural wonders. This Deck is yours — add, delete, or edit slides to match your classroom style!
What do you think is meant by “public lands”?
In the U. S. , public lands are held in trust and managed by city, state, and federal governments.
The lands are managed by entities that ensure they are cared for and protected and that people can safely visit and use them. Many of these lands are open for recreational use, while others are protected for the sake of wildlife habitats; some public lands are open for hiking and camping, while others allow hunting and use of motorized vehicles on the lands themselves.
Which of these do you think are types of public lands? Local playground Public schools National parks Wilderness Wild and scenic rivers
Federal public lands are managed by four major agencies. National Park Service Manages more than 20 million acres of land, 63 national parks, and hundreds of cultural and historical parks as well as scenic highways and byways, national seashores, and more Bureau of Land Management Manages federal public lands that are undeveloped and open for visitation as well as energy development and other use U. S. Forest Service U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service Manages more than 160 million acres of forest reserve Manages 26 million acres of land open to hunting and other activities
How many acres of land do you think these four agencies manage?
606. 5 million acres!
Why do you think public lands exist?
Public lands were never empty swaths of land. For generations, Native Americans dwelled on land called them home; when Europeans arrived in what’s now the United States and expanded westward, these lands were taken from indigenous peoples and tribes were driven off of the land.
As westward expansion continued after the Civil War, people who cared about natural wonders saw the commercialization of places like Niagara Falls and wanted a way to protect land from development.
One of the most famous examples of conservationists is John Muir was a Scottish immigrant who came to be one of the biggest advocates for the federal protection of land, due to his lifelong love of what became Yosemite National Park in California.
Muir was incredibly influential in his time, even leading President Theodore Roosevelt on an exploration of the park. Muir was also a prolific writer and his work is widely available even today.
Muir was also representative of the bigotry of his time. In spite of his love of land, Muir showed little respect for the Native Americans in Yosemite, whom he called "savages. " The Native Americans had dwelled on the land for generations.
Today, while we champion Muir’s advocacy and the impact he left, we also must acknowledge his racist views and how his plan for protecting lands did not include protecting people who had called those lands home.
National parks are the bestknown type of public lands. How many national parks are in the U. S. ?
Since Yellowstone National Park was established in 1872, 62 more places have been protected as national parks! The newest, established in 2020, is New River Gorge in West Virginia.
Using the National Parks Service “Find a Park” tool, find the national park nearest to you. Have you visited this park? Did you know it was a national park?
RANGER TIP Lands designated as public and managed through the Bureau of Land Management are protected in several different ways: vulnerable animal populations are protected from overhunting; resource drilling and mining is controlled or banned; and irreplaceable natural wonders are preserved for generations to come.