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 32 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.
Invariably I find far more that unites us in our shared love of winter than anything that might divide us. We should be unified in our support and defense of public lands, and our ability to use them responsibly. In an effort toward understanding and respect, I hope you'll hear me out in response to the recent alerts.
https://winterwildlands.org/wwa/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/IMG_1260-1.jpg4781500Mark Menlovehttps://winterwildlands.org/wwa/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/WWA_Logo_OrangeBlue-300x89.pngMark Menlove2017-10-10 17:41:212018-07-12 15:08:07An Open Letter to the Snowmobile Community
By mid-September many a skier’s thoughts turn to snowy days ahead, but this year we’re not the only ones praying for snow. With fires raging across much of the West and snow the only hope for truly extinguishing them, Ullr is getting a lot…
https://winterwildlands.org/wwa/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Ember-Photo.jpg400600Winter Wildlands Alliancehttps://winterwildlands.org/wwa/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/WWA_Logo_OrangeBlue-300x89.pngWinter Wildlands Alliance2017-09-18 19:59:402017-10-02 19:59:59The latest from the WWA Policy Desk
Photo by Luc Mehl
ON JULY 10 THE PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD for Interior Secretary Zinke’s National Monument review closed. In just under two months over one million people weighed in, with the vast majority — 96%! —telling Zinke to leave…
https://winterwildlands.org/wwa/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Luc-Mehl.jpg633950Winter Wildlands Alliancehttps://winterwildlands.org/wwa/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/WWA_Logo_OrangeBlue-300x89.pngWinter Wildlands Alliance2017-08-08 17:28:422017-09-12 22:52:48Midsummer Policy Update: Defending Public Lands on Multiple Fronts
Our public land management agencies administer on behalf of the American people 674 million acres of lands that see over half a billion visits annually. It's time we invest in these agencies.
https://winterwildlands.org/wwa/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/basin_2.jpg450600Winter Wildlands Alliancehttps://winterwildlands.org/wwa/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/WWA_Logo_OrangeBlue-300x89.pngWinter Wildlands Alliance2017-06-13 16:12:222017-09-12 22:52:48Outdoor Rec Groups and Businesses Advocate For Greater Investment in Public Lands Agencies
Winter Wildlands Alliance is a national nonprofit organization promoting and
preserving winter wildlands and a quality human-powered snowsports
experience on public lands.