About Winter Wildlands Alliance
Winter Wildlands Alliance is a national nonprofit organization working to inspire and empower people to protect America’s wild snowscapes. We are an alliance of over 100 grassroots environmental organizations and backcountry partners. Our SnowSchool program engages over 33,000 kids in science-based field trips and education across 60 sites nationwide. Our Backcountry Film Festival, premiering every November in Boise, Idaho, tours more than 100 locations worldwide and raises more than $180,000 for local mountain communities.
Formed in 2000, Winter Wildlands Alliance 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; we pursue it in our local backcountry, at the offices and headquarters of our public land managers, and in 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. We advocate on national issues and maintain a national presence by working 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. Winter Wildlands Alliance also supports a network of grassroots groups, helping local users to connect and to 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 33,000 kids outside each year to experience the joy of winter through SnowSchool.
Since 2005, the Winter Wildlands Alliance Backcountry Film Festival has celebrated the human-powered winter 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.
Successes & Leadership
- 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.
- In 2015, the Forest Service finalized a new rule, the Over-Snow Vehicle Rule, which requires relevant 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, splitboarders, snowshoers and others who value quiet winter wildlands we see the over-snow vehicle rule as an opportunity to bring balance to the backcountry and to help protect places that are valued for human-powered winter recreation.
- 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.
- WWA has created groundbreaking land management 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
To be a part of our work and help us add to our list of successes, become a Winter Wildlands Alliance member today.
- 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.
Winter Wildlands Alliance is a national nonprofit organization promoting and
preserving winter wildlands and a quality human-powered snowsports
experience on public lands.