Winter Wildlands Alliance is dedicated to preserving winter wildlands and quality human-powered snowsports experiences on public lands. We represent a growing community of backcountry and Nordic skiers, splitboarders, snowshoers, climbers, climate researchers, and other human-paced winter explorers, from Maine to California to Alaska. Our members, and the members of our 33 different grassroots groups in 15 states, deeply value natural winter soundscapes and the opportunity for refuge and respite afforded by the last remaining places across the United States where solitude, fundamental wildness and non-motorized experiences are preserved. From the backcountry to Washington D.C., Winter Wildlands Alliance works with land managers, elected officials, grassroots groups and other partners to pursue a balanced, adaptive and collaborative approach to winter recreation management for the long-term protection of the places where we recreate and seek adventure.
Many National Forests across the country are undertaking forest plan revisions. Forest plans are guiding documents that set general management direction for a national forest for 15-30 years. Participating in forest plan revision is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to shape the long-term future of national forests.
Much of our work directly supports efforts led by our grassroots groups at the local level. We assist by providing policy expertise, organizing tools, and/or amplification of issues and projects they are working on. Here are some examples:
Working on and supporting legislation to protect public lands and improve recreation opportunities and management
Advocating for permanent reauthorization and funding for the Land & Water Conservation Fund
Advocating for adequate and sustainable appropriations for land management agencies
Working for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Outdoors
Defending the Roadless Rule in Alaska, Utah and beyond
Working on National Environmental Policy Act reform
Working on Forest Service Environmental Assessment and Decision Making reform
The human-powered winter sports community, one of the fastest growing segments of the recreation economy, is on the front lines of climate change. Our members—backcountry skiers and snowboarders, Nordic skiers, polar explorers, mountain guides, ice climbers, winter fat bikers, snowshoers and snow scientists—live and work and play in some of the most climate-impacted regions on the planet. Working with land managers, outdoor industry partners, and 39 grassroots groups in 17 states, we advocate for public lands policies that mitigate and respond to a shifting climate, protecting threatened winter ecosystems, accessible non-motorized snowscapes, critical watersheds, healthy forests, and sustainable mountain town economies. We are also committed to climate education and outreach through our national SnowSchool program, engaging more than 33,000 kids annually across 65 outdoor education sites, and our Backcountry Film Festival, which tours 100 communities nationwide and reaches more than 30,000 people each season.
In 2015, in part because of our work, the Forest Service issued new national guidelines for planning how and where winter motorized use can occur on our National Forests. This new rule was a huge step forward for human-powered recreation, because for the first time the Forest Service is required to implement a “zoning” approach to the backcountry, with some trails and areas designated for motorized use and other areas set aside for non-motorized users or wildlife. Please visit our Winter Travel Management page to learn more.
In Northern Minnesota, backcountry skiers are fighting to save their most coveted terrain, which is the site of proposed development by a local ski area.
https://winterwildlands.org/wwa/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/faesunset2-2048x1365.jpg13652048Winter Wildlandshttps://winterwildlands.org/wwa/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/WWA_Logo_OrangeBlue-300x89.pngWinter Wildlands2020-05-06 12:53:502020-05-06 13:12:39A New Vision for Skiing in Northern Minnesota
As states begin to reopen, we believe public lands are a smart and necessary investment for economic stimulus.
https://winterwildlands.org/wwa/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/stephen-meyers-rLBewYnoi6I-unsplash-scaled.jpg17062560Julie Brownhttps://winterwildlands.org/wwa/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/WWA_Logo_OrangeBlue-300x89.pngJulie Brown2020-04-28 12:42:452020-05-14 13:49:25What’s Next? The Great American Outdoors Act
We all experience moments of uncertainty. But the mountains teach us to lean into our challenges with curiosity, openness, care, and compassion. Now, as COVID-19 washes through our communities, our homes, our thoughts, and our bodies, this is a skill that we need more than ever. This is one we need to lean into.
https://winterwildlands.org/wwa/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Utah_Winter_2017_0678.jpg10001500Julie Brownhttps://winterwildlands.org/wwa/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/WWA_Logo_OrangeBlue-300x89.pngJulie Brown2020-03-25 14:44:522020-03-25 14:44:52The Crux of a Lifetime