Policy Update – May 2021

A month of surveys, reports, and publications vital to and in celebration of winter recreation!

Photo Credit: Joey Sackett (on the ancestral lands of the Shoshone-Bannock, Eastern Shoshone, Cheyenne and other Nations)

From Hilary Eisen, WWA Policy Director (5/20/2021)

Surveys, Reports, and Resources

As science nerds who love winter recreation, we’re super excited to share WWA’s latest report – a comprehensive survey of the best available science on how undeveloped (non-resort) winter recreation affects wildlife, soundscapes, snowpack, air and water quality, and more. You can find the report on our website at www.winterwildlands.org/resources, or by clicking the link above to go directly to the report.

Another interesting report that was published recently came by way of the Chugach National Forest. One year after completing the Chugach Forest Plan revision, the Forest Service published a Nellie Juan-College Fiord Wilderness Study Area Existing Character Baseline Report. This baseline report describes conditions in the WSA as it currently exists and will inform future forest management decisions. It is a direct result of our engagement in the plan revision alongside Alaska Quiet Rights Coalition, Alaska Wilderness League, Prince William Sound Stewardship Foundation, and the Eyak Preservation Council. Together, we insisted that the Forest Service produce this report to inform future management and ensure that the wilderness character of the WSA is not further degraded. For more on the Chugach forest plan revision and why this report is so important, check out this blog post.

Also on the forest planning front, Outdoor Alliance recently published a neat piece on the Custer Gallatin forest plan revision (link). We’re hopeful that the Custer Gallatin can serve as a template for collaboration and conservation success in future forest plan revisions.

Looking back, it appears that May was a month of new publications!