Public lands have come to be a more common topic of discussion in the last few years. The government’s intentions to make industrial use of those lands don’t fit well with many people’s desire to keep them as they are, free to explore and enjoy.
Public lands are areas of land that are open to the public and managed by the government. In other words, is land you and the rest of the United States own and share. Several NGOs and nonprofit organizations work tirelessly to keep lands free of contamination and noxious usage. Such institutions see themselves under risk from the people in charge of managing public lands, who usually advocate for more profit-centered, industrial-growing activities such as oil and gas drilling.
Many people and organizations have started to see this subject as one that hits very close to home, and are therefore communicating, getting organized and moving resources to support this debate to keep public lands safe.
Highlander Beer, a brewery from Missoula, Montana, is one of the many supporters to save public lands, and has in fact released a beer named “Public Land Owner”, an American pale ale brewed especially for everyone who enjoys or appreciates such places.
The logo “Public Land Owner” was first used by the Backcountry Hunters and Anglers (BHA), a North American organization of sportspeople that work to protect public lands.
“Backcountry Hunters & Anglers seeks to ensure North America’s outdoor heritage of hunting and fishing in a natural setting, through education and work on behalf of wild public lands and waters”
The BHA has its headquarters in Missoula as well, and many of the brewery employees are BHA members, so, as Hannah Talbott, Highlander Beer’s general manager said, “It really aligns with our values”.
“We wanted to appeal to the craft-beer drinker, but we wanted it to be sessionable enough to also appeal to a wide audience”, in other words, this is a beer everyone can enjoy. And with the legend “Public Land Owner” on it’s can, it will surely raise some awareness about this subject amongst people that might not be very informed, or even not aware of the issue.
In addition, a portion of the income from all 6-packs and draft beer sold goes to BHA to help in protecting wild public lands and waters for all to enjoy. Public Land Owner is only available in Montana for now.
Even though supporting this type of project surely adds value to the cause and helps to spread the message, there is always more you can do to support the cause and help save and maintain public lands as they are, beautiful and fun.
Picking up trash when you visit national parks, volunteering in your neighborhood park, investigating and informing people around you about public lands and what they are going through, and spreading outdoor ethics are a key piece on this quest. Although some of them might sound trivial and of low impact, they are the basic principles that drive the movement towards keeping public lands natural.
Changes come at first from each individual and those who surround them.