Learn More: Land and Wilderness
About the Issue
Stewardship of the lands and wild places God has entrusted to our care is both a critical part of our call to protect creation and a responsibility shared by all citizens. This is true of national network of public lands. If managed conscientiously, public lands help us answer God's call to equality among people by providing shared resources that nurture our communities. They also help to sustain the glorious web of creation by providing habitat for wildlife and protecting God's dynamic natural systems, such as watersheds and migration routes.
God's lands are an integral part of creation. Lands and wilderness provide refuge for the body and soul, offer blessings of sustenance like soil and water, and serve as stunning reminders of God's power and grace in our lives. But many of these lands - and the life that depends on them - are endangered by human negligence and abuse. Even special places like national forests and conservation areas are threatened by overzealous oil, gas, and mineral development; irresponsible grazing practices; urban and suburban sprawl; and careless off-road vehicle use. As these threats to God's gifts become more pronounced, our call to become educated and involved becomes more immediate.
Our Resources and Links
- Coming Soon! Download the Christian Education Resource on Land and Wilderness; it contains useful facts about public lands in the US as well as biblical references and study questions. It’s the perfect resource for a group bible study or individual reflection.
- National Public Lands Day - "Helping Hands for America's Lands", September 29, 2012.
- Download our resource, Out of the Wilderness: Building Christian Faith and Keeping God's Creation.
- To download a land stewardship worship resource "Rooted in God's Word and Lands: A Celebration of the Earth That Nourishes Us" or the Land Stewardship Bulletin Insert, Click here.
- The National Landscape Conservation System -
Managed by the Bureau of Land Management, this network of spectacular
areas includes National Monuments, National Conservation Areas,
and 23 million acres of Wilderness.
National Wildlife Refuge System-
Maintained by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, our network of
National Wildlife Refuges is designed for management, conservation,
and restoration of wildlife, fish, and plant species.
- See the impacts of drilling on the lands and communities of the West. Watch National Geographic's short, eye-opening online documentary: Sights and Sounds of Drilling.
- Hear the story of traditional New Mexico ranching couple, Tweeti and Linn Blancett, who's livelihood has been threatened by irresponsible drilling practices that are literally killing their cattle, available for download from the web and on DVD.
- You can also reduce energy development pressure on God's lands by ensuring that your home and worship space are energy efficient. Interfaith Power and Light (IPL) can help. Find an IPL program in your state or region!
- The Land and Water Conservation Fund was established by Congress in 1965. The Act designated that a portion of receipts from offshore oil and gas leases be placed into a fund annually for state and local conservation.
- Visit Renewal in the Wilderness, which offers spiritual retreats in nature for adults.
- Click here to download a wilderness resource from the youth of Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church.
- Earthkeeping Ideas The Presbytery of the Cascades in Oregon provides online resources for church creation care efforts.
- The Wilderness Society is an American conservation organization working to protect our nation’s public lands
- Campaign for America's Wilderness - Protecting America's last, best, wild places.
- Big Bend – Seeking Permanent Protection for God’s Creation
- From the Flathead to the Golden Triangle to the Eastern Plains, Montana is a wondrous display of God's creation. Take a look at the Montana Association of Churches' position statement on Care and Creation.
For More Information Contact:
Eco-Justice Program Office National Council of Churches
110 Maryland Ave., NE
Washington, DC 20002