In a capitalist society protecting public lands is important. When a few individuals have the power to decide how to use or abuse earth’s natural resources, the price is payed by all. The distortion of having financial reward as the main motivation for environmental decisions means life on the planet suffers. Consideration must be given and public lands provide that. They must be protected. Dan Chu of the Sierra Club writes that we are engulfed in 2 crises, the climate crisis and the extinction crisis. Public lands play a role in tackling both. Conserving wild places will stop Big Oil and Big Timber from destroying it and the land continues to provide crucial habitat for life pushed out of the humanized landscapes.
Artists can play a role in bringing notice to the crises. The Interior Department helps by supporting the work of artists. In an April, 2021, newsletter the Interior Museum describes how they are collecting and showcasing contemporary artists whose work is inspired by our public lands. My painting, Homestead 1862-2020, is used to illustrate the collection.