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Rocky Mountain Region

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40th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act - Partnership Opportunities

40th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act Logo


The National Forest Foundation is working with concerned corporations, foundations, individuals, agencies and organizations to: 1) Increase the ranks of skilled citizen Wilderness stewards by developing and providing volunteers with the knowledge, tools and skills needed for effective on-the-ground Wilderness stewardship; 2) Foster the development of a personal stewardship ethic and an informed constituency among Wilderness users and non-users alike by increasing awareness, knowledge and understanding of the National Wilderness Preservation System; and, 3) Support on-the-ground Wilderness stewardship projects by establishing a matching award fund. Their proposal has been forwarded with a cover letter from the Chief Financial Officer of Recreational Equipment Incorporated to the following companies for consideration:


  • Yakima Products
  • Thule
  • Timberland
  • The Orvis Company
  • The North Face, Inc.
  • SmartWool Corporation
  • Sierra Designs
  • Rodale Publishing
  • Polo Ralph Lauren
  • PowerBar
  • Pacific Trail
  • Old Town Canoe Co.
  • Nalge Nunc International Corporation
  • Mountainsmith
  • Leatherman Tool Group, Inc.
  • Johnson Outdoors
  • Jansport
  • High Sierra Sport Company
  • Helly Hanson
  • Eureka Tents
  • Eastman Outdoors
  • Eagle Creek, Inc.
  • Deckers Outdoor Corporation
  • Clif Bar, Inc.
  • Cascade Designs
  • CamelBak Products, Inc.
  • Black Diamond Equipment

The idea of using existing volunteer infrastructures to train citizen wilderness stewards has been embraced by a number of organizations including the American Hiking Society and the Environmental Alliance for Senior Involvement. Concerns expressed by agency employees are that even if volunteers come trained, there is insufficient staff to provide support. To fill this gap, Don Hunger, SCA, proposed the concept of using academia to develop interns who can train and lead volunteer citizen wilderness stewards. This concept has met with considerable interest by Perry Brown, Dean, College of Forestry & Conservation, University of Montana, and by John Miles, Professor, Huxley College of the Environment, Western Washington University.



  • NPR’s Earth & Sky – Three, 90 second pieces about wilderness will be aired on Earth & Sky in 2004. Topics to be developed include the role of wilderness in public health, fish & wildlife, and clean air and water.
  • American Values: American Wilderness The rough cut has been produced and is in the first round of edits. If selected, PBS will air the film in late fall/early winter 2004.
  • Institutes for Journalism in Natural Resources – This organization included an agency representative to discuss wilderness issues in their Pacific Northwest expedition. They are interested in covering the Forest Service Regional Wilderness Forum in November 2004.
  • Wilderness Media Kit – Finalizing Frequently Asked Questions, Facts Sheet and Key Messages.
  • Wilderness Forum In conjunction with their Centennial, the Forest Service is hosting a Wilderness Forum in Missoula, MT, November 2004 tohonor the past and move forward to address challenges of the future. There is interagency participation on the planning committee. We are working to include a panel to continue exploration of using volunteer wilderness citizen stewards. If fruitful, the FS Centennial Congress, January 2005, can be the platform for publicly launching this effort. The concept will be tested during the 2005 field season with the possibility of using the 8 th World Wilderness Congress as the platform for showcasing what went right and what needs improvement.
  • Nationwide Events & Activities – There are more than 50 events scheduled in 18 states from canoes and walks to backpack and car camps for wilderness! Log on to www.wilderness.net to find out what’s being planned to celebrate the 40 th anniversary across the country.


  • NWPS Map Revision 30,000 maps were printed and shipped Friday, July 30 to FS Regional Offices, BLM and FWS Wilderness Coordinators and NPS Wilderness Parks
  • NWPS Brochure –50,000 brochures were printed and shipped Wednesday, July 28 to FS Regional Offices, BLM and FWS Wilderness Coordinators and NPS Wilderness Parks
  • NWPS Display – Final product expected by Friday, August 6. Distribution among the 40 th anniversary events scheduled across the country will be coordinated by the Arthur Carhart National Wilderness Training Center.
  • Curriculum – Learning objectives have been defined for a 6 th grade audience and the National Conservation Training Center has begun editing lessons to ensure national education standards are met.
  • Wilderness Views The National Park Service has taken the lead on developing an interactive educational computer program about wilderness through their Views of the National Parks program. The interagency writing team completed text and work has begun on developing the video components to complete an interactive on-line product by October 10. Log on to http://www2.nature.nps.gov/synthesis/views/ to get a look at this outstanding program.


For additional information, contact : Connie G. Myers, Partnership Coordinator, National Wilderness Preservation System, Building 27, Suite 3, Fort Missoula Road, Missoula, MT 59804, Phone: 406-542-2805 x 17, Fax: 406-542-2810, cgmyers@fs.fed.us


“The strength of the wolf is the pack and the strength of the pack is the wolf.” Rudyard Kipling



“The richest values of wilderness lie not in the days of Daniel Boone,
or even in the present, rather in the future.”

– Aldo Leopold, author of, A Sand County Almanac


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