A new bill introduced in Congress in March would add 500,000 acres of public land across five states to the National Wilderness Preservation System, the highest form of land protection available in the U.S. The bill, dubbed “Protecting America’s Wild Places Act of 2008,” is one of the largest pieces of Wilderness legislation currently in front of Congress.

The bill aims to protect ecosystems as diverse as redwood forests in California, great plains in New Mexico, and Cheat Mountain in West Virginia. Several other Wilderness bills are currently being considered in Congress, totaling 1.5 million acres of potential Wilderness across the country

To track this and other Wilderness bills, go to www.leaveitwild.org.