Michael Brune Talks Exploring, Enjoying and Protecting our Public Lands
Add another one to my list of DC firsts: my first movie premiere! There was no red carpet, but today I got the chance to see the first screening of “Public Lands, Private Profits,” a three-part documentary series made by the Center for American Progress in partnership with the Sierra Club, which you can watch here.
While the video series addresses threats to three particular areas of beautiful public lands, after the screening we were treated to a discussion of the status of conservation all across America today. Michael Brune, the Executive Director of the Sierra Club, and John Podesta, Chair of the Center for American Progress, both spoke about what the conservation movement has been working on and what more can be done to ensure that we enjoy, explore, and protect America’s most beautiful places. In particular, Michael Brune addressed what he sees as the three most important goals of the Sierra Club’s conservation efforts. In addition to conserving and protecting land, and creating plans to mitigate the effects of climate change – and here’s where it got really exciting for me, your resident Mission Outdoors intern – according to Mr. Brune, our number one priority has to be getting people outdoors.
Yes! Everyone in America, he said, from veterans and their families to the Latino communities of East LA with inadequate access to the San Gabriel Mountains next door, everyone owns these public lands and should be able to visit them and see how incredible our country really is! From Lake Ocoee in Tennessee to the White Mountain National Forest, I’ve seen places that have gotten under my skin and instilled in me a passion for the outdoors and the simple joy of being outside. And that feeling, I think, is what Michael Brune was saying is so important. Because when you get people outside to these incredible places, something happens, and they want to go back, and THAT’S how you keep a conservation movement healthy and growing. So take someone along with you on your next outdoor adventure – you might just find conservation’s newest advocate!