Maintaining Our Public Lands Community During COVID-19

Brian Sybert
|March 18, 2020

As all of us adjust to new, and hopefully temporary, realities brought by COVID-19, we want to take a moment to share with you--our community of supporters--how we’re continuing to pursue our mission of protecting the public lands we love while caring for each other. 

Our first priority continues to be the safety and wellness of our staff and Friends Grassroots Network and their loved ones. We’ve closed our offices, staff now working from home, suspended all travel and in-person meetings, and continue to monitor and share any new guidance on containment. 

While the pace of life will fluctuate under this new reality, the urgency to defend and protect our public lands remains. Our team remains fully engaged in the work of protecting National Conservation Lands, supporting our community-based advocates, and vigilantly watching what this administration does and doesn’t do during this time. 

On this front, we recently launched an online campaign to build the public record against actions the administration is taking to manipulate the planning process and open iconic lands to drilling and extraction. We’ve seen no let up from the administration so far during this national emergency and, as always, we want to provide our community with the opportunity to take meaningful action and have your voices heard. Because we know the will of the public eventually will prevail. If you want to take action now, you can do it here at #TimeToChoose

Next, we want to remind you that getting outdoors is still considered a safe activity (when social distancing is practiced!).

We don’t recommend planning trips to the more remote National Conservation Lands due to the risk it could pose to limited health care services in small communities that local residents rely on. We do encourage you to get outdoors and visit local parks or nature areas. Even a walk in your neighborhood can give you the physical and mental health benefits that spending time outdoors offers. 

Since we can’t be outdoors all of the time, here are some ways to “visit and explore” your public lands from wherever you are: take a tour of your National Conservation Lands from our website and see all of the amazing people that make up our Friends Grassroots Network; and check out these virtual tours of beloved public lands and parks throughout the country. 

If you plan to hike, bike, explore outdoors, we ask two things: that you practice “social distancing” and follow other guidelines from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and your state on what’s safe for you and your family; and follow the golden rule of “Leave No Trace” especially with fewer maintenance folks on hand to keep places clean. 

Finally, we want to thank you for your ongoing support. In times of crisis such as this, it’s important that we don’t lose contact with one another. All of us at the Conservation Lands Foundation remain committed to maintaining the connections among the public lands community. 

We wish you and your family wellness, safety, and comfort.


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