About Winter Wildlands Alliance

 Our Mission

Winter Wildlands Alliance is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and preserving winter wildlands and a quality human-powered snowsports experience on public lands.

Our Story

Formed in 2000, WWA grew out of the recognition that skiers, snowshoers, snowboarders, winter mountaineers and other backcountry adventurers needed a collective voice advocating on issues that impact the winter backcountry. Our work is equally focused on places as on the experiences these places provide, and equally at home in the backcountry as the halls of Congress. The landscape of winter recreation has changed radically since we started– with more people than ever seeking the backcountry experience – and our work is more relevant now than ever.

We accomplish our work through a variety of means. WWA advocates on national issues and maintains a national presence by communicating regularly with Forest Service, National Park Service, and elected officials, commenting on land management plans and encouraging agencies to adopt policies that support quality human-powered recreation experiences. WWA supports a network of grassroots snowsports groups, helping local users connect and influence the issues affecting their favorite backcountry areas. With boots on the ground, we give back to the land through our stewardship programs, and get 30,000 kids outside each year to experience the joy of winter through SnowSchool. In the end, we are all skiers too, and in 2005 WWA organized our first annual Backcountry Film Festival to celebrate the human-powered experience. The Festival now tours each winter to more than 100 locations across the world and raises funds and awareness for local groups working on advocacy, snow safety and outdoor education programs.

Our Successes

• The Forest Service recently finalized a new rule, the Over-Snow Vehicle Rule, which requires National Forests to designate routes and areas where over-snow vehicles are allowed and prohibits winter motorized travel in places that are not specifically designated and shown on a map as open.  This new rule is the direct result of our efforts to get the Forest Service to manage snowmobiles under the same guidelines used for all other off-road vehicles on national forest lands.  As skiers who value quiet winter wildlands we see the over-snow vehicle rule as an opportunity to bring balance to the backcountry and protect places that are valued for human-powered winter recreation.

• Working with four coalition partners, WWA’s 14-year campaign to protect Yellowstone National Park resulted in a long-term winter use plan that eliminated the noisiest, most polluting vehicles, put a reasonable cap on total over-snow vehicle use and led to a remarkable recovery for the unique winter ecosystem, wildlife and visitor enjoyment in our nation’s first national park and most iconic winter sanctuary.

• WWA is founding member of the Outdoor Alliance. The seven membership organizations of Outdoor Alliance have a long tradition of protecting public lands, waters and snowscapes while preserving public access to America’s Outdoors to ensure there are trails to ride, rivers to paddle, peaks to ski and crags to climb.

• Working with local partners, WWA has helped protect more than three million acres of public lands for human-powered activities and for the irreplaceable natural resource values these places provide.

• Created groundbreaking resources such as the Winter Recreation on Western National Forest Lands report and the Winter Trails and Backcountry Use Economic Impact Analysis for the Teton Region.

We exist for you, the human-powered snowsports enthusiast. And we will continue working tirelessly to ensure we all have places to play. Join Us.

Our Values

• We see human-powered winter recreation as an appropriate use of our public lands, and advocate for land management practices that support high-quality experiences for skiers, snowboarders, snowshoers, mountaineers and other quiet adventurers in the winter backcountry. Above all, we are committed to achieving our mission.

• Partnership and collaboration are rooted in our core, based on the recognition that results are best achieved by engaging a diverse spectrum of advocates and outdoor recreationists. We value collaboration with all stakeholders, orienting our work toward being proactive and solutions-based.

• We serve our members and grassroots groups through tangible results, timely communication, expertise and relevant resources. We help cultivate the broader backcountry community through education, stewardship and the Backcountry Film Festival.

• We strive to cultivate a professional, supportive and enriching work environment for our dedicated team of staff, Board and volunteers. Competence and authenticity are highly valued.

• Integrity and accountability are central to our success. We embrace those traits within WWA, and in our relationships with the partners, supporters and constituents who make our work possible.