Mokelumne Wilderness, California

We Keep the Promise of Wilderness

Established in 1992, The Wilderness Land Trust is a national, nonprofit conservation organization dedicated to purchasing lands for the federal wilderness system to ensure their preservation.


Our goal is to ensure that America keeps its promise to future generations that America’s wilderness will remain forever wild. 


Our Mission

We Keep the Promise of Wilderness - By acquiring and transferring private lands (inholdings) to public ownership that complete designated and proposed wilderness areas, or directly protect wilderness values.

With the Wilderness Preservation Act in 1964, Congress established the world’s first National Wilderness Preservation System, where “man himself is a visitor who does not remain.”  But simply drawing lines on a map and declaring it a wilderness area does not necessarily make a wilderness whole. Wilderness areas are often riddled with private ownership.  Many such “inholdings” predate the Wilderness Act and are vulnerable to mining, logging, oil and gas drilling and development. The Wilderness Land Trust works to acquire these lands. We then transfer them to federal agencies to be protected as wilderness forever.

By removing these threats not only protect these lands from development, but also the integrity of the surrounding wilderness. Donors make this work possible.

Beyond its inherent beauty, many would say that wilderness defines the American spirit.  Wilderness has long inspired American thinking, writing and art.  As we face unprecedented global environmental challenges, wilderness is a last refuge for endangered wildlife, a source of clean air and water, and critical to understanding and limiting climate change.  



Aspen Public Radio: Non-Profit in the Spotlight

The Wilderness Land Trust

Listen: Part 1, Jon Mulford

Listen: Part 2, Jean Hocker

Listen: Part 3, Reid Haughey







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The Wilderness Land Trust

20th Anniversary Scrapbook




“Congratulations to Wilderness Land Trust on its 20th. There is no better way to save biodiversity than by preserving habitat, and no better habitat, species for species, than wilderness.”


Edward O. Wilson


University Research Professor Emeritus, Harvard University & Father of Sociobiology