Quick, what do nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts celebrate around the end of every September? If you guessed National Public Lands Day, then give yourself a stick-on nametag that says 'Nature’s Buddy'! This annual event, which saw its most online buzz in 2017, highlights the importance of and encourages public participation in the preservation and improvement of our public lands. And boy, are there lots to talk about!
It's national public lands day on the 29th September.
The big splurge of online mentions on 29th September 2017 was no surprise, considering it's close to the autumnal beauty in many parts of the country, the perfect time to enjoy public lands. The day promotes environmental education, volunteerism, and recreation, all while honoring the lands that make America a wonder-filled, geography-nerd's dream come true.
From the red-rocked awe of the Grand Canyon to the tranquil shores of Cape Cod, public lands are the heart and soul of this country. They host our adventures, gentle strolls, vigorous hikes, and can we talk about the photo opportunities? Let's not forget they're also serving their eco-duty, being habitats to remarkable biodiversity and natural resources.
This holiday isn't just about appreciation from afar, though. National Public Lands Day provides an opportunity for everyone to get their hands a bit dirty doing something worthwhile. It’s the largest single-day volunteer event for public lands in the United States. So when it rolls around, pick up a (biodegradable) trash bag, grab a shovel, or maybe a brush if you're feeling particularly artsy, and let’s beautify this beautiful land, one public space at a time!
In 1776, the United States declared its independence from Great Britain and became a nation of its own. This marked the beginning of a new era and the formation of a government that would shape the future of public lands.
In 1785, the United States Congress passed the Land Ordinance of 1785, which established a system for surveying and dividing public lands in the newly formed nation. This was a crucial step in managing and organizing the vast expanses of land under American jurisdiction.
The Homestead Act of 1862 was a pivotal moment in the history of public lands. It granted 160 acres of public land to any adult citizen, or intended citizen, who was willing to settle and improve the land within a five-year period. This act played a significant role in the settlement of the American West and the expansion of agriculture.
In 1872, President Ulysses S. Grant signed the Yellowstone National Park Protection Act into law, establishing Yellowstone as the first national park in the United States and the world. This marked the beginning of a new concept in land management, where certain areas of public land were set aside for the enjoyment and preservation of the people.
In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt signed the Antiquities Act into law, giving him the authority to create national monuments. This act also paved the way for the creation of the United States Forest Service, which was established to manage and protect the nation's forested public lands. The Forest Service played a crucial role in conservation efforts and ensuring sustainable use of these lands.
In 1946, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) was created as a result of the merger between the General Land Office and the Grazing Service. The BLM became responsible for managing and conserving vast tracts of public lands, including those used for grazing, mining, and recreation. Its mission is to sustain the health and productivity of these lands for present and future generations.
In 1976, the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) was enacted to provide comprehensive guidance and regulations for the management of public lands. FLPMA emphasized the importance of multiple-use and sustained yield of resources, ensuring that public lands are managed for a variety of purposes, including recreation, conservation, and energy development.
In 2016, the Every Kid in a Park initiative was launched to provide every fourth-grader and their families with free access to all national parks, forests, and other federally managed lands and waters for an entire year. This program aims to connect the younger generation with the natural and historical treasures of public lands, fostering a love for conservation and outdoor exploration.
Public Lands Day
Tree Planting Day
Bat Appreciation Day
Bike To Work Day