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.
The Forest Service is taking a new look at what they do to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA, and they’re accepting preliminary comments through the end of this week. The vast majority of comments submitted thus far in the process are from the extractive industry – it’s time for the outdoor recreation community to speak up.
https://winterwildlands.org/wwa/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/IMG_2580-2.jpg4891460Hilary Eisenhttps://winterwildlands.org/wwa/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/WWA_Logo_OrangeBlue-300x89.pngHilary Eisen2018-01-31 12:44:372018-02-01 10:46:37A New Look at NEPA? Sounds Good. But Let’s Not Throw the Baby Out With the Bath Water.
"I learned a lot about myself and my leadership style. But most importantly the people I met have inspired me to go on and continue to do great things with my life.” - Artist and former SnowSchool educator Nick Kiriazis
https://winterwildlands.org/wwa/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Smile2.jpg6371027Kerry McClayhttps://winterwildlands.org/wwa/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/WWA_Logo_OrangeBlue-300x89.pngKerry McClay2018-01-30 12:19:312018-02-06 14:28:47SnowSchool Volunteer Turned Artist Gives Back
Over 90% of winter recreation takes place on public lands. OUR lands. Sign up now to help us protect and defend them.