Visit and protect your conservation lands

Visit and protect your conservation lands

(NAPS)-Whether you're an avid environmentalist, a Western movie fan looking for a little tranquility, or just someone who's seeking a fun vacation for your family, you can experience the undisturbed beauty of the American West at hundreds of places around the country. Over 28 million acres of National Conservation Lands are permanently conserved by the federal government for the public to enjoy.
Here are a few facts and figures:
* These lands, especially those around the Empire Ranch in Arizona, have been a calling card for Hollywood Westerns.
* With a plain of saguaro cacti beneath it, nearby Ragged Top Mountain in Ironwood Forest offers a striking reminder of the Old West.
* Historic Fort Stanton in New Mexico is one of the few intact frontier forts, with many of its original buildings and surrounding lands looking just as they did when the fort hosted such legendary personalities as Billy the Kid, Colonel Kit Carson and the Buffalo Soldiers.
* The Santa Rosa/San Jacinto Mountains in southern California has an old brush corral and views from the highway that harken back to the southern California of a century ago.
* Rock caves and formations in Red Rock Canyon of Nevada dominate the landscape once crossed by cowboys and Native Americans.
Since they were established a decade ago, the National Conservation Lands have not gotten the level of funding, protection, recognition or support that they need from the federal government. They face other challenges such as recreational target shooting, reckless off-road vehicle use, vandalism, encroaching development and trash dumping.
The Conservation Lands Foun- dation is the only organization dedicated solely to conserving, restoring and expanding the National Conservation Lands through education, advocacy and partnerships.
To that end, the Foundation:
* Provides grants, training and networking opportunities to build a constituency of grassroots advocates;
* Works with Congress and the Bureau of Land Management to help shape the future of the National Conservation Lands; and
* Promotes greater public awareness of and appreciation for the National Conservation Lands and the irreplaceable human and natural history they contain.
You can discover more about the Foundation and the sites and monuments it protects, how to visit them and how to help protect them at www.conservationlands. org or (970) 247-0807.