From Green Right Now

My Piece of America emphasizes public ownership of U.S. nature spots.

As our population grows and energy needs rise (presumably), energy companies are increasingly beating on the door of the government for new places to operate.

Oil companies, even wind farms and solar installations, all need real estate. That’s why Congress is considering bills to expand oil drilling on public lands, and why even clean energy interests are sniffing out prospects for operations in less-populated but sunny or windy locales, like the desert Southwest and windy sweet spots in Wyoming.

Now Sierra Club is stepping into this tug-of-war over public lands with a website, dubbed “My Piece of America” to give the public a platform to express their feelings about public lands and parks, and perhaps get a little more active in the movement to save them.

The program, launched just in time for the summer vacation season, encourages people to upload their favorite photos of the outdoor places they love and want to protect. The tool also helps connect people to others who share their passion for a certain place.

For instance, here’s “Ginny C” kicking off a conversation about the Great Smoky Mountains:

Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Photo: Ginny C)

“I took my first winter hike along the Middle Prong River in the Great Smokies with my mom and uncle. It was worth braving the cold for a different look at this beautiful place. ” (Visit the site to see replies.)

The website also aims to engender more activism among nature lovers by connecting them with conservation campaigns and ways to take action.

Sierra promises trip giveaways and other opportunities to “be a part of America’s lands legacy.”

It also features information on the specific places Sierra is working to save. Those include many special tourist and camping spots across the US. Sierra’s devoted an info page to each: