By now you know, at Wolven — we are wild about the wild. We share a deep appreciation for our planet and especially have love for our local wilderness here in California. With our 1% for the Planet partnership, we donate 1% of our sales each year to different environmental and social groups working to protect our planet — last year, we partnered with the California Wilderness Coalition (CalWild) to support their work to preserve our local wild spaces.
Check out our interview with CalWild to learn more about what they are up to this year and how you can take part to protect the important, beautiful, and ancient wonders of California’s wilderness.
1. Can you introduce yourself and tell us more about CalWild?
My name’s Dup Crosson, and I’m the Development Director here. CalWild’s been around a long time – since 1976 – and we’re the state’s leaders on protecting the wildest places on California’s vast public lands. We value these places for their abundant and biodiverse wildlife, ecological characteristics that help mitigate climate change, recreational and spiritual amenities, and role as economic drivers. At our core, we’re an organizing organization that builds campaigns in the local communities where these places are based, though our expertise comes with having relationships up the ladder to Washington D.C. We work with other activists, businesses, civic groups, and legislators at all levels to secure the highest forms of protection at the federal level – wilderness areas for land and wild and scenic rivers for waterways. We’ve also been involved with many National Monument proclamations and defend wild places when they are threatened through our Public Lands Network.
2. What is the PUBLIC Lands Act Bill?
The PUBLIC Lands Act (S. 1459) is a set of conservation bills sponsored by Sen. Alex Padilla currently awaiting a vote in the Senate. It includes 3 bills that re our legislative priorities: Rep. Jared Huffman’s Northwest California Wilderness, Recreation, and Working Forests Act, Rep. Salud Carbajal’s Central Coast Heritage Protection Act, and Rep. Judy Chu’s San Gabriel Mountains Foothills and Rivers Protection Act, all of which have passed the House of Representatives. Together, these bills would permanently protect 636,971 acres of public lands as wilderness, 685 miles of waterways as wild and scenic rivers, and 52 climbing areas; result in the restoration of over 810,000 acres of public lands damaged by clearcutting and other development; and create the Condor National Scenic Trail and Bigfoot Trail.
3. What lands are you specifically working to protect?
In addition to expanding protections in the San Gabriel Mountains – the playground for millions of people in the Los Angeles area – the PUBLIC Lands Act would protect places like Soda Lake Proposed Wilderness (the largest remaining natural alkali wetland in California) and the East Fork North Fork Trinity River, an untouched whitewater boating gem containing crucial populations of steelhead, spring Chinook salmon, and Coho salmon. Additionally, the Central Coast component would create the Condor National Scenic Trail connecting both sections of Los Padres National Forest, while the Northwest bill would restore 810,000 acres of public lands damaged by clearcutting and other development as the South Fork Trinity-Mad River Special Restoration Area.
4. How does protecting California's wilderness impact climate change?
Safeguarding our state’s wilderness areas can help mitigate a number of climate change-induced catastrophes and anxiety by providing:
- Resilient and biodiverse habitats
- Carbon and nitrogen sinks to neutralize damaging greenhouse gases
- Nutrient filtration services found in freshwater wetlands and tidal estuaries, which can reverse the accumulation of persistent toxins
- Glaciers and snowpack that make up the majority of our drinking water
- Areas for outstanding recreation and spiritual respite bereft of development
Additionally, passing the PUBLIC Lands Act is a crucial first step in meeting the state’s goals to protect 30% of California by 30x30, a campaign we’ve been working on with numerous partners since 2020.
5. How can communities in California and across the country support the Public Lands Act and your work overall?
Firstly, call your Senator to show support and ask them to co-sponsor the bill! For those of you living in California, you can thank Sen. Padilla online at bit.ly/padillaAA. Writing op-eds and letters to the editor in your local press about the importance of this bill is also very helpful – get in contact with us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to help.
CalWild also needs to grow our member base to sustain the resources needed as leaders of these campaigns. Become an individual member at www.calwild.org/member or a Group Member (for businesses and groups) at www.calwild.org/gmdonate.
Together we can all work together to protect the beautiful wilderness of California. For more information about our 1% for the Planet partner, CalWild, visit https://www.calwild.org/.