By: Katie Ledermann, CS3 Alum
The Women on Wheels for Wild Lands (WOWFWL) team finished our 5,312-mile, 94-day bike ride across the USA in Columbia, South Carolina on December 10th. Our mission was to educate and raise awareness of the importance of America's pubic lands and the threats they face. We visited and explored as many public lands as possible along our route and spoke with park employees, superintendents, and visitors. There are mixed feelings among team members about the end of the ride, but we are unanimously grateful and feeling very lucky to have had the opportunity to bike across the country.
The day before we reached the Atlantic coast, President Trump announced his plans to reduce Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante National Monuments by 85 and 50 percent respectively, both of which we biked through earlier on our trip.
These actions are a reversal of protections put in place by predecessors Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, and comes as the Trump administration pushes for fewer restrictions and more development on public lands. While we biked across the country for all public lands, the decision facing these national monuments will set a precedent for the future of public lands.
After three months of pedaling, our hardest work has only just begun. We will continue to stand up and speak out for public lands, and we hope we have convinced some others to join us.
To learn more about our adventures, bike breakdowns, public lands and more, visit our website and read our blog at womenonwheelsforwildlands.com.