Mission Survey Results

July 2014

 

In April, we surveyed our friends and supporters to gather feedback on the modification of our mission.  Your input was very helpful and enabled the Board to do its work knowing what our supporters think.  The Board greatly appreciated your responses.

 

Survey results are as follows:

 

 

 

The Board recognizes the change as:

 

 The Wilderness Land Trust acquires and transfers inholdings to public ownership that complete designated and proposed wilderness areas, or directly protect wilderness values.

 

 

The Board determined that the mission of the Trust should remain clearly focused on wilderness and that our work should not be divert from completing designated and proposed wilderness areas.  That is the core of what we do.  That does not mean that we should turn a blind eye to acquisitions where we add value that our supporters would see as important and that directly protect wilderness values.  If presented with those opportunities, we should act.  We will.

 

Examples of acquisitions that would directly protect wilderness values include:

 

  • Inholdings within public lands that block trail access to designated wilderness
  • Inholdings within protected public land that block wildlife corridors between two designated wilderness
  • Inholdings adjacent to designated wilderness that would have been included if public when the lines were drawn, or that are going to be added if acquired

 

We didn’t move much, but we are focusing on what it means to protect and complete wilderness in this 50th Anniversary year of The Wilderness Act and going forward.

 

 

Thanks again for your help and input.

 

Please feel free to contact staff if you have any additional comments or questions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Our work has always been limited to the acquisition and transfer of inholdings within designated and proposed wilderness.  We’ve been quite successful having completed 410 transactions in 90 designated and proposed wilderness areas across eight states, while consulting with and helping other organizations in a dozen more states.

 

There is still a lot of work to be done. Our 2014 inventory identifies about 180,000 acres of private land and an additional 440,000 of State owned land remain within the boundaries of designated wilderness in the lower 48 States.

 

In addition to acquiring these critical inholdings, we have come to believe that truly securing and completing wilderness means securing access to it and completing those protected lands that surround designated wilderness – not buffer zones, but those lands of which designated wilderness is an anchor for a larger protected landscape.

 

The role of wilderness is evolving as we see it.  It now is a foundation for larger landscape conservation unheard of when the 1964 Wilderness Act was passed.  Islands of wilderness now serve to connect linked landscapes of habitat, as well as refuges for wildlife, flora, clean air and clean water.

 

Reid Haughey, President