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 39 different grassroots groups in 17 states, deeply value natural winter soundscapes and the opportunity for refuge and respite afforded by the last remaining places across the American West 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 Plumas National Forest strikes a balance for winter recreation in the over-snow vehicle plan, carrying on a long legacy of backcountry skiing in the Lost Sierra.
https://winterwildlands.org/wwa/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/IMG_1967-2.jpg5761024Julie Brownhttps://winterwildlands.org/wwa/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Winter_Wildlands_Alliance_Logo.pngJulie Brown2019-09-10 15:06:262019-09-10 15:29:02What Skiing Means to California’s Lost Sierra
I climbed a number of hills this month: after Capitol Hill, I went to the Wind River range for some backcountry climbing. And throughout it all, we have been planning the 8th Biennial Grassroots Advocacy Conference.
https://winterwildlands.org/wwa/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Hilary-august.jpg5071014Hilary Eisenhttps://winterwildlands.org/wwa/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Winter_Wildlands_Alliance_Logo.pngHilary Eisen2019-08-30 06:52:092019-09-03 09:45:20From Capitol Hill to the Wind River Range—A Letter From Our Policy Director
In response to the proposed revisions to their NEPA regulations, we sent the U.S. Forest Service a 12-page letter outlining in detail our critiques and comments about their revisions. Our most pressing concern is how far the Forest Service goes to scale back public engagement and environmental analysis.
https://winterwildlands.org/wwa/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/JAS2267.jpg10671600Hilary Eisenhttps://winterwildlands.org/wwa/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Winter_Wildlands_Alliance_Logo.pngHilary Eisen2019-08-28 18:27:442019-08-28 18:27:44This Is the Letter We Sent the Forest Service
We, and the rest of the world, are outraged by the fires in the Amazon. Besides eating less Brazilian beef and donating to environmental NGOs that protect the Amazon, there’s really not much we can do.
But there is something we can do to save the world’s largest temperate rain forest: Alaska’s 17-million-acre Tongass National Forest, which is also facing imminent threats of destruction.
https://winterwildlands.org/wwa/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/1032944086_997c38109e_o-2.jpg7681024Julie Brownhttps://winterwildlands.org/wwa/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Winter_Wildlands_Alliance_Logo.pngJulie Brown2019-08-23 14:01:532019-08-23 14:01:53What You Can Do to Save The World's Largest Temperate Rain Forest
Winter Wildlands Alliance is a national nonprofit organization promoting and
preserving winter wildlands and a quality human-powered snowsports
experience on public lands.