Inspiring Conservation Through Storytelling
Reporting from the front lines, This American Land brings you compelling stories on critical issues impacting America’s natural landscapes, waters and wildlife that inform and engage public television audiences nationwide. Watch the trailer
In the Colorado Rockies, residents support a Congressional bill creating new wilderness, wildlife conservation areas, and the nation’s first national historic landscape honoring veterans of the Second World War.
In Utah, the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument is threatened by federal cutbacks, becoming an iconic symbol of a law dating back to President Theodore Roosevelt who started the tradition of using it to protect vast American landscapes.
Where the Colorado River approaches the Sea of Cortez, conservationists re-plant forests and promote wildlife habitat to revive the Delta after decades of neglect and desertification.
The nation’s most important conservation and recreational access program has protected areas in almost every state and county, but it could soon expire without action by Congress.
In a “catch share experience” on the Gulf Coast, a charter boat captain with an individual fishing quota shows recreational anglers how sustainable practices promise more income and safety.
In the upper basin of the Colorado River, water managers in western Colorado collaborate with landowners to develop innovative, more efficient systems to conserve water and restore flows to rivers.
Rafting and fishing in the Rio Grande Del Norte National Monument, curious journalists learn the truth about monuments that protect national treasures and a wide range of public uses.
With new water rights and a major irrigation project under construction, Arizona’s Gila River Indian Community is reviving an agricultural heritage that sustained them for centuries before white settlers arrived.
Under the power of the Antiquities Act, President Obama designated Bears Ears National Monument in Utah, protecting tens of thousands of cultural sites amid breathtaking landscapes. Watch our report from several years ago presenting the case for preserving this very special place.
In the largest remaining expanses of quail habitat in North America, ranchers and conservationists work together to manage cattle pastures to provide essential wildlife habitat, especially for declining quail populations.
Local residents support a bill in Congress to designate new wilderness areas and wild & scenic rivers to ensure permanent protection of treasured public lands in the vast Los Padres National Forest.
No longer an agency focused mainly on livestock and mining, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management has evolved and assumed a greater responsibility for conservation and protection of public lands for a wider range of interests.
Join a rafting expedition down the Etivluk River into the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska – a misleading name for the vast, unspoiled Western Arctic wilderness that provides critical habitat for native wildlife and migratory birds.
At the mouth of the Columbia River, researchers study sardines, anchovies and other small forage fish that sustain a healthy ocean, providing essential food for seabirds, marine mammals and predator fish including salmon and tuna.
A grass-roots collaboration of water officials, hikers, mountain bikers, hunters, fishermen and others initiated the drafting of a bill in Congress to establish protection for the 108,000-acre Hermosa Creek Watershed north of Durango, preserving some historic uses in most areas while designating 38,000 acres of wilderness and a 43,000-acre roadless area.
White nose fungus is likely to be the worst wildlife disaster of our time, and researchers in Tennessee hope that a human-built cave can attract enough hibernating bats to slow the spread of the infection.
In an Oregon high school, students design and develop strips of land with plants that filter silt, oil and grime out of the runoff from the school’s parking lot; it’s hands-on learning about pollution, watershed management and environmental impacts.
Supporters say the monument would be a job-creating natural asset, protecting the headwaters of six regional waterways – including thousands of acres of wild terrain with some of the best hunting and trout fishing in Appalachia.
In Kansas and Delaware, NRCS advisers assist farmers with measures to improve their productivity and protect habitats for threatened wildlife.
Off the coast of San Diego, marine biologists test an experimental device for increasing the survival rate of bottom-dwelling fish that are released at the surface as bycatch but are traumatized by changes in water pressure.
In the southeastern corner of the state, the Brokeoff Mountains are a little-known stretch of rugged canyons and peaks that are still relatively untouched by development.
The proposal for a national conservation area would preserve Cedar Mesa and adjacent areas that are filled with some of America’s oldest archaeological treasures that need urgent protection.
Unlike most wilderness areas that are remote and hard to access, the San Gabriel Mountains are within easy reach of the L.A. urban sprawl, forming the centerpiece of an imaginative plan for a 600,000-acre national recreation area.
In Iowa and Tennessee, researchers and farmers are on the front lines of the biofuel revolution where switchgrass, sourgum and miscanthus are grown specifically as renewable fuel sources.
High school students in Kanab learn the importance of protecting vanishing native plants and tackling invasive species. Harvesting native seeds, sprouting them in a greenhouse and transplanting them in acre-sized test plots, they track the plants’ progress with GPS technology.
In the dry, harsh landscape between Las Vegas and Reno, most people have seen only wasteland with a few gold and silver mines. More Nevadans now see the sustainable value of these lands as protected wilderness and destinations for outdoor recreation.
Melting snow from the Sierras in California generates $400 billion in economic activities, supports four million acres of farmland, and supplies drinking water for more than 23 million people. NRCS advisers assist farmers and ranchers with techniques to conserve water and preserve its quality downstream from the mountains to the coast.
While the need for continued listing under the Endangered Species Act is still debated, grizzly bears have multiplied under federal protection since 1975, re-occupying areas where they had been absent for decades.
Older hikers have an alternative to carrying heavy backpacks: an outfitter providing sturdy, affable llamas loaded with chairs, tables, wine and other luxuries that allow full enjoyment of wilderness treks without aches and pains.
The federal government shelved plans to auction leases for oil and gas drilling in the North Fork Valley after local residents came out overwhelmingly against it as a threat to their new economy rooted in tourism, wineries and organic produce.
Rich deposits of oil shale in Garfield County yield huge amounts of natural gas and oil for energy companies, but local residents are pushing back against intrusive air and water pollution, noise and traffic.
This American Land Podcast
Since 1973 the Endangered Species Act has empowered the federal government to save bald eagles, brown pelicans, peregrine falcons, California condors, American alligators and a wide range of other animals and plants. But there is an active opposition to the Act that threatens to weaken it. Gary Strieker talks with Noah Greenwald, Endangered Species Director at the Center for Biological Diversity.
NOTE: Since this episode was recorded, new regulations under the Endangered Species Act have been issued, and we will devote another episode to these changes and their impact on enforcement of the Act.
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The federal Land and Water Conservation Fund has been essential in supporting the purchase of land for public ownership and recreation across the country. Congress let the Fund expire last year, then reauthorized it this year, and conservationists are now hoping that money will be authorized for the Fund to continue to protect natural treasures like Cape Romain in South Carolina. Gary Strieker reports.
For more than half a century, the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund has supported the purchase of land for public ownership and recreational access, and conservationists are now pushing Congress to give it the money it needs to do its job. Gary Strieker has the story.
In Colorado, with fast population growth in the Denver area and fierce competition for water, investors are behind a plan to import water from a mountain valley hundreds of miles away, a plan opposed by farmers and ranchers who depend on water in that valley. Gary Strieker reports.
Across the country, many species of songbirds are declining in numbers because their habitat is disappearing. But in Pennsylvania, owners of forest lands are learning how to manage their properties to provide the habitat the birds need.
For more than half a century, the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund has been supporting the purchase of land for public ownership and recreational access. Gary Strieker explains why continuing the fund is so vital.
National Parks across the country are filled with visitors, and many parks are badly in need of maintenance and repairs–conditions that can’t be fixed without funding from Congress. Gary Strieker reports.
During summer months, millions of vacationers head to America’s National Parks, likely unaware of a serious problem affecting the parks–delayed repairs and maintenance that rangers are struggling to manage without the support they need from Congress. Gary Strieker reports.
National Parks across the country are welcoming record numbers of tourists, while their managers and park rangers are trying to cope with needed repairs and maintenance without the needed funds to pay for it. Gary Strieker has this report.
Across the country, farmers are trying new methods to prevent fertilizer nutrients from running off their land and contaminating water supplies. Gary Strieker reports from Ohio.
In the dry American Southwest, the supply of water has always been a contentious issue. In Arizona, a Native American tribe that once prospered before settlers arrived now has a bigger share of water and a new irrigation system that promises a brighter future.
In cities across the country, open spaces are being converted to urban farms, providing fresh produce to people who’ve never had easy access to it. From Dallas, Gary Strieker reports on one of them.
The notorious prison on California’s Alcatraz Island attracts a million and a half visitors a year to see it’s eerie cellblocks. As Gary Strieker reports, it is one of many national parks benefitting from an innovative program to make long-needed repairs.
In the Gulf of Mexico, the red snapper is a prized fish for anglers. Strict limits on fishing have allowed the snapper population to flourish, but not without complaints by some fishermen that they’re not getting their fair share.
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