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.
The U.S. Forest Service has proposed to exempt the Tongass from the Roadless Rule, which would open a vital carbon sink to logging and mining. The deadline for public comment is December 17.
The Tongass is the largest national forest in the United States—17 million acres of temperate rainforest that stretches down the panhandle in Southeast Alaska. Home to old growth trees and tons of wildlife, including whales, salmon, bears, and bald eagles, the Tongass also holds tremendous value for carbon sequestration and climate change mitigation. The U.S. Forest Service estimates the Tongass stores 10 to 12 percent of the total carbon captured by America’s national forests.
Right now, the U.S. Forest Service has proposed exempting the entire Tongass National Forest from the Roadless Rule. Why does this matter? The Roadless Rule is an important tool that protects wild landscapes on U.S. Forest Service lands. The proposal would open the world’s largest remaining temperate rainforest—a critical resource in the fight against climate change—to logging. For reasons of conservation, recreation, and climate action, we can't let this happen.
https://winterwildlands.org/wwa/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Tongass-NF_Credit-Howie-Garber.jpg9941500Julie Brownhttps://winterwildlands.org/wwa/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/WWA_Logo_OrangeBlue-300x89.pngJulie Brown2019-11-26 17:26:402019-11-26 17:32:49Action Alert: Speak Up for the Tongass and the Roadless Rule
Since the Forest Service published a Proposed Action in late September that outlines a preliminary management plan for all types of backcountry winter recreation on public lands in the Lake Tahoe Basin, we’ve been hearing from all sides that their proposal is far from perfect.
Now, the Forest Service is asking for your input on how to make it better for everyone. Submit your comment directly to the Forest Service. The deadline for public comment on the Proposed Action for the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit is December 9th.
At an open house for over-snow vehicle planning in Tahoe last week, Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit Forest Supervisor Jeff Marsolais said this is just the start of the process. Right now, we are consulting with our local partners in Tahoe—Snowlands Network and the Tahoe Backcountry Alliance. And as we write our comments in response to the Forest Service’s proposed action, we encourage you to do the same.
https://winterwildlands.org/wwa/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/MPOON_20180317_06513.jpg10001500Winter Wildlands Alliancehttps://winterwildlands.org/wwa/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/WWA_Logo_OrangeBlue-300x89.pngWinter Wildlands Alliance2019-11-18 18:40:572019-11-19 12:19:24Snowmobiling Every Other Day in Lake Tahoe?
Check out this beautiful film by one of our grassroots groups, Friends of Plumas Wilderness. "Visions of the Lost Sierra" is about the Wild & Scenic Middle Fork Feather River. The Middle Fork was one of the first eight rivers in the country protected by Congress through the National Wild & Scenic Rivers Act in 1968.
https://winterwildlands.org/wwa/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Screen-Shot-2019-11-25-at-12.41.23-PM.jpg7551500Winter Wildlandshttps://winterwildlands.org/wwa/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/WWA_Logo_OrangeBlue-300x89.pngWinter Wildlands2019-11-13 11:22:472019-11-25 13:43:31Watch: Visions of the Lost Sierra
Together as an outdoor community, we are powerful, and we have a responsibility to stand up to protect public lands and waters. We will not be divided. Together we can achieve our vision of a system of protected public lands that works for everyone, not just a handful of entrenched interests.
https://winterwildlands.org/wwa/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Tetons.jpg7211500Winter Wildlandshttps://winterwildlands.org/wwa/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/WWA_Logo_OrangeBlue-300x89.pngWinter Wildlands2019-11-11 11:35:422019-11-13 11:00:44Winter Wildlands Joins Outdoor Alliance for the Public Lands Pledge
Winter Wildlands Alliance is a national nonprofit organization promoting and
preserving winter wildlands and a quality human-powered snowsports
experience on public lands.