keeping wilderness wild
Presently, in the forty-eight contiguous states, protected wilderness is approximately equal to paved surfaces: each occupies about two percent of the total land mass. Wilderness is an endangered geographical species, and our generation has the final say about its continued existence. With this preamble, Roderick Frazier Nash sets up the moral grounding to the conservation of wild lands. His 1997 essay, “Why Wilderness?” lists seven criteria for wilderness protection:
1. Scientific value:
Wilderness is a reservoir of normal ecological and evolutionary processes as well as a kind of biological safe-deposit box for the many forms of life. The wild places of the world harbor species presently and potentially important to human welfare and even survival.
2. Spiritual value:
Wilderness is a temple. It is sacred. Some have worshipped nature outright, some have found evidence of God in the natural world. The religious significance many find in wilderness raises the possibility of defending it on the grounds of freedom of worship.
3. Aesthetic value:
Some people find a beauty in the wilds that cannot be replicated. If the destruction of unique natural beauty is to be avoided, then wilderness should be preserved. We have agreed as a culture to protect irreplaceable art; why not the artless wild?
4. Heritage value:
As a species, we lived in the wilderness a thousand times longer than we have in civilization. The frontier wilderness shaped the American character and formed the basis for democratic institutions. Doesn’t the present owe the future a chance to know the past?
5. Psychological value:
Wilderness offers a unique opportunity for psychological renewal – literally re-creation. Our minds developed under wilderness conditions for millions of years. Suddenly, in the last few hundred, we have been propelled into a world of manmade speed and complexity. For some, occasional relief is a vital mental necessity.
6. Cultural value:
In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, wilderness permits an opportunity for an original relationship to the universe. The wild world is our cultural raw material.
7. Intrinsic value:
Non-human life and wild ecosystems have intrinsic value and the right to exist. A designated wilderness is a gesture of planetary modesty, a way of demonstrating that humans are members, not masters, of the community of life.
Who We Are : Small, Feisty, Persistent, Risk-taking and Effective When Jon Mulford formed the Wilderness Land Trust on January 6, 1992, he established an ambitious, long-range mission: The Wilderness Land Trust acquires unprotected private land within wilderness, returning it to public ownership to guarantee that future generations can enjoy the enduring resources of wilderness. Mulford also set a tone for a small, feisty, persistent, risk-taking approach on the focused niche of turning private inholdings into wilderness. The result has been a highly effective track record for filling a critical conservation role that no one else seemed willing or able to do. Twenty years later, WLT has grown into one of the most respected and successful tools for conservation in the West, protecting and preserving valuable pieces of some of the most rare and iconic of our national landscapes. This scrapbook looks back on WLTâ€™s beginnings, on its formative years, on its generous donors, cooperative land owners and supportive land managers. Without them, this conservation work â€“ 359 parcels totaling over 36,500 acres in 82 designated and proposed wilderness areas â€“ would not have been possible. Where do we go from here? While we can look back with satisfaction and a measure of amazement, WLT approaches the future knowing there is more to be done. Its original mission and approach are germane today, and we remain dedicated to the long term benefit of our national wilderness legacy.
We Keep the Promise of Wilderness The Wilderness Land Trust acquires unprotected private land within wilderness, returning it to public ownership to guarantee that future generations can enjoy the enduring resources of wilderness.
Jon and Sharon Mulford
Making Wilderness Whole
When Jon Mulford was an attorney in Aspen he negotiated several small land swaps with the Forest Service. He discovered that inholdings were creating problems in wilderness areas, which led him to founding of the Wilderness Land Trust in 1992.
“I learned that private lands in wilderness, nationwide, totaled several hundred thousand acres. I thought it would take only a few years to resolve the inholding issue, but soon realized that I had underestimated the problem.”
1992 WLT’s first acquisition was a 160-acre inholding within the Indian Peaks Wilderness. Jon borrowed money and bought the parcel on faith. “Soon we had resold the parcel to the Forest Service and had the first significant money in the bank. It all started in Colorado.”
WLT soon instituted a priority system to rank inholdings and Jon was joined by his wife, Sharon, who applied her expertise in administration and finance. Over the past 20 years their combined efforts have enhanced the integrity of wilderness across the West.
February 15 1992– The First Board of Directors Meeting, consisting of Tom Hoots, Jon Mulford and John Fielder
January 6 1992- The Trust files for incorporation in Colorado. Jon Mulford is the Incorporator.
1994 Mark Pearson joins the Staff as Vice President - 1993.
Sydney Macy joins the board - 1993
INDIAN PEAKS WILDERNESS
The Trust acquires 9 properties, all in Colorado and transfers 5 to the United States - 1992.
The Wilderness Land Trust came of age with the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area of Colorado, one of WLT’s earliest and most ambitious acquisition projects in 1993-94. This established WLT as a conservation player capable of stitching together large tracts of wildlands.
1993 Andy Wiessner joins the board in June - 1992.
Jon Mulford negotiated the purchase and transfer of over 200 acres in three inholdings, making a significant difference to the context of adjacent wild lands in the Rocky Mountain National Park Wilderness to the north and the later designated (2002) James Peak Wilderness to the south. Giles Toll, the owner of 160 acres, the largest of the inholdings, had inherited the property and appreciated its significance. “It was totally surrounded by a Wilderness Area, and we knew it needed to belong to the Forest Service. We wanted it where it belonged, and WLT was willing to help us.”
A Matter of Priorities
As a graduate student at Colorado State University in 1992, Mark Pearson wrote a magazine article about wilderness inholdings. WLT founder Jon Mulford read the article and sought out Pearson as a resource. “That was a good launching pad for me. I needed a master’s program, so I took background from that article and turned it into a thesis on how to prioritize inholding acquisitions. WLT has taken that across the West.” Pearson’s love for wilderness derives from growing up as a native of Colorado where he and his family spent summers camping at Rocky Mountain National Park.
ing ver inhold o g in k o ora lo aughter S d d n a n o rs egon Mark Pea ntain, Or u o M s n e Ste
“Wilderness reduces life to its most basic, necessary requirements: staying warm and dry, getting food to eat, living by the cycles of sun. There’s a wilderness philosopher at CSU – Holmes Ralston – who coined the term ‘raw spontaneous nature.’ That’s a pretty good description of what wilderness is about for me.”
mples inholding exa
Wilderness Spring 1993
MAKING ACQUISITIONS COUNT With thousands of private inholdings throughout public lands, applying limited conservation funds to critical acquisitions became a foremost challenge to WLT. Jon Mulford realized that a priority system was necessary to make acquisitions count. Wilderness advocate Mark Pearson was on a parallel track, and he shared his approach with Mulford in 1992. “This led to a methodical approach that has made WLT fully credible,” reflects Mulford, “which became a huge factor for future land swaps.”
Pearson outlined three major criteria for prioritizing inholdings: How appealing is a parcel for development?
a. a patented mining claim at a beautiful alpine lake with a jeep road to it b. resource potential for harvesting a wonderful stand of timber c. a viable mineral deposit d. proximity to vehicle access
What is the ecological significance?
a. parcels causing habitat fragmentation b. sensitivity due to springs, wetlands, old growth forest, critical wildlife habitat
What is the social significance?
a. opportunities for recreation, solitude, and all the things spelled out in the Wilderness Bill b. considerations of watersheds, wild and scenic river corridors, historic significance, trail access and easements c. significant improvements the lives of wilderness managers by resolution messy conflicts
On lower Snake Rive r, Idaho
JAMES PEAK WILDERNESS
In 1994, a year after the Indian Peaks Wilderness acquisition, landowners Giles and Henry Toll approached Jon Mulford on behalf of thier family with another inholding. This 1,320-acre parcel in the James Peak area, which would be designated as Wilderness in 2002, stands as one of the largest parcels WLT has ever conveyed into the wilderness system. The Tolls explained that they and their sister, who had inherited the land, would ask their father about properties the family had held since thier grandfather had acquired them during the pioneering era of Colorado. “When we would ask him about the future of the land, he would say, ‘Well, we’ve got a lot of incredible scenery, and I’m not sure what else we have.’ We all knew it had to be preserved.” To Giles Toll, a dedicated mountaineer who worked with Mulford on the transaction, wilderness conservation has high value, not only for esthetics, but for relationships on the trail. “Mountaineering eliminates all the facades. At the trailhead, everybody’s title drops. The mountain environment encourages honest, meaningful conversation in a special way. And then there’s the obvious, incredible beauty and the pleasure of being outdoors and active.”
er Henry Toll Giles Toll (left) and his broth le to WLT celebrated their family gift/sa Wilderness with a visit to the James Peak was taken Area in 2002. The photograph ndled the by the Forest Ranger who ha In Colorado, Indian Peaks and James Peak would not be wilderness areas exchange. today if not for the largesse of the Toll family and for the work of WLT.
A Sense of Urgency
“Wild lands are so precious,” says Toll. “It’s such beautiful, delicate, wonderful country that desperately needs to be preserved. We need to save these lands for future generations, and we need to do it now or we’ll lose the opportunity.” Colorado pioneer Charles H. Toll had amassed land holdings around the state in the late 1800s. When Giles, a dedicated mountaineer, recognized that one of his grandfather’s inholdings was adjacent to the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area, he acted.
Giles Toll joins the Board - 1994
“I tried before to do it myself – to get land directly to the Forest Service – but it took five years. Jon Mulford made it very easy to convey.”
Christi Northrop joins the Board - 1994
Lucy Hibberd joins the board - 1994
WLT also helped transfer lands owned by the Toll family trust in the not yet proposed James Peak Wilderness. “Once the Forest Service had gotten the land, that made James Peak possible as a Wilderness. It’s really fine what the Wilderness Land Trust does.”
Our first over $1 million acquisition – 1,320 acres in the not yet proposed James Peak Wilderness of Colorado - 1994.
Legislating a Wilderness Legacy The value of wilderness runs deep in David Skaggs, former Congressman from Colorado.
“The iconic quality of Colorado wild lands is an important part of the psyche for all of us who live here. There is a romantic and spiritual aspect to it. It’s hard to imagine an area where I, as an elected official, could have applied my resources to a greater benefit than I was able to do in preserving wilderness.” Skaggs worked with WLT on the James Peak Wilderness. “The Wilderness Land Trust had negotiated a purchase there that brought several major tracts from the Toll family into Forest Service ownership. We were also able to get the Bowden Gulch area passed in the Never Summer Wilderness, and WLT was again crucial in that.” Skaggs allows that wilderness issues are complex and delicate, often exacerbated by the unfinished business of private inholdings. “These wild lands are often jeopardized and needing protection. Without the nimbleness and immediacy that the Wilderness Land Trust brings to these issues, some of these opportunities could have slipped by. I’m very happy they didn’t.”
Completed our first wilderness area, acquiring the last inholding in the Rattlesnake Wilderness, Montana - 1995
The Trust purchases its first property outside of Colorado - in Arizona - 1995.
Completed our first California purchase in the Malilja Wilderness, securing critical habitat for Condors - 1995.
When former WLT president Jon Mulford first contacted Bill Pope of Seattle in 1999, he enlisted a wilderness advocate who also excelled at conservation fund-raising. Pope raised $17 million for the purchase of timber rights on 40,000 acres of state land in Washington. “As a result, we had the state permanently set aside a huge virgin forest in the North Cascades.”
Mulford interested Pope in a WLT acquisition in the Trinity Alps of Northern California in 2000. Pope, a lifelong wilderness hiker, drew on friends and his own resources to pay for the parcel. “The money got paid back, and a year later some friends and I hiked that land to see it for ourselves.” Since then, Pope and WLT have collaborated on other inholdings, and Bill joined the WLT board of directors in 2003.
wilderness in e im t f o t lo “I spend a elps maintain h t a h t g in h t y n areas, so a ess is okay rn e d il w f o y t the integri with me.” 1997
WLT receives the BLM Assistant Director’s Partnership Award, in recognition of transferring 33 private inholdings within Arizona’s designated wilderness to federal ownership - 1997.
Getting Wilderness in Focus A founding board member of the Wilderness Land Trust in 1992, John Fielder has gained national recognition by promoting wilderness values through the viewfinder of his camera. As a wilderness photographer who seeks wild places, Fielder regards private inholdings as potential malignancies that need to be strategically removed by WLT.
John Fielder was the chair of the WLT board for the first decade of the trust, in addition to being a founding member
“In order to protect the integrity of wild places, we must acquire these potentially developable inholdings or they can become cancers within the body of wilderness that can metastasize under various threats of development.”
Fielder’s photographs are made in wildness because that’s his favorite place to shoot. “I have photographed practically every wilderness area in our state. That is my passion – seeing and photographing wild places. Therefore, I’m very passionate about what we do to protect these and the roadless areas that qualify as wilderness.” Growing up in Charlotte, North Carolina, Fielder spent part of his youth hiking in the Appalachian Mountains. Those experiences dramatically influenced his career path. He now has an audience of wilderness lovers that ranges far beyond Colorado’s borders.
See more of John’s photographs at: www.johnfielder.com
The Importance of being Impartial Andy Wiessner’s connection to wilderness stems from his parents. His father, Fritz Wiessner, came within 700 feet of summiting K-2 during a legendary attempt in 1939. “As a kid growing up in Stowe, Vermont, I got dragged up everything and hiked everywhere. My father was a great defender of wild lands and so was my mother.” In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Andy was counsel to the House Public Lands Subcommittee. When Jon Mulford asked him to serve on the WLT board in 1992, he brought both his personal and professional roles into play. “In those early years we were very Colorado focused because there were numerous inholdings in places like the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Area. There was a real desire among us that those needed to be cleaned up.”
WLT is important, says Wiessner, because the Forest Service and BLM confront difficult decisions on granting “reasonable and proper” access to wilderness inholders. “By eliminating inholdings, WLT eliminates those hard decisions.”
aka, New Zealand. an W ar ne y ts Pa d an Andy
1999 Jay Watson joins the Board - 1998
Wiessner credits WLT for its non-confrontational approach with landowners. “Where some landowners won’t deal with environmental groups, the Wilderness Land Trust has developed a reputation for being impartial, for having no ax to grind. We are someone they can trust.”
Our one hundredth acquisition – Three mining claims in the Holy Cross wilderness, the Campbell, Midnight and Little Elfie. Total purchase price: $9,735 - 1999
Wilderness and Headwaters
As one of the early board members of the Wilderness Land Trust, Lucy Hibberd immediately recognized founder Jon Mulford’s singularity of purpose.
“I liked that Jon and Sharon started with a lean staff, just doing what they did best, which was working one-by-one and picking off pieces of property. The idea was to fill in the land map and to stick with that mission. What followed was a very well organized, very focused, very limited mission that has made the Wilderness Land Trust effective.” Hibberd places high value on water resources in the mountain west. “Wilderness areas contain a lot of headwaters, so wilderness can preserve the quality of those headwaters. That’s become a huge issue in the West.” Hibberd especially appreciates WLT for deeding inholdings to the federal government. “I love the federal lands. They are one of the most wonderful things about living in Colorado and in the whole country. I believe the Forest Service and the BLM are still the best stewards of the public land.”
Complete our second $1 million acquisition – the Hjertager property in the Trinity Alps Wilderness with several loans from individuals in Washington State, including Bill Pope - 2000.
SIZE ISN’T EVERYTHING The Wilderness Land Trust does not identify its success by acreage. Even the smallest parcels can have dramatic significance for the context of surrounding or adjacent wilderness: • The Denver Lode was a 10-acre inholding near the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory (RMBL) at Gothic, Colorado. This potential homesite could have compromised ongoing climate change studies. WLT acquired the parcel for $12,000 in 2006 and transferred it in 2011. • The Hawley parcel, in the Mokelumne Wilderness Area south of Tahoe, California, had a Forest Service trail going through the middle of it. WLT bought the 20 acres for $32,000 in 2009 and transferred it in 2010. • In the Sanhedrin Wilderness Area, near San Francisco, two 40-acre inholdings divided a portion of the wilderness. In 2011 WLT bought both inholdings and transferred them to the Forest Service, completing the wilderness.
• In Washington State, the Buckner and Scarpelli inholdings were being levied only $4.16 in real estate taxes per year. WLT saw their higher value to the Glacier Peak area and bought them in 1998, held them for 12 years, and transferred them in 2010.
• The Polar Star Lodes inholding was high in the Holy Cross Range of Colorado, not far from the Polar Star Inn, a 10th Mountain ski hut, and includes the trailhead for New York Peak. After a shift of land ownership through an inheritance, WLT acquired the 75-acre site in 2005 for $156,000 and transferred it in 2009, avoiding a potential land use conflict.
WLT TAKES IT ON THE ROAD
The Wilderness Land Trust began with Colorado roots, but has expanded to complete acquisitions in eight states. We’ve also worked on acquisitions and consulted with local and regional partners in Utah, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin. “There was work to do,” explains WLT president Reid Haughey. “If we had stayed in Colorado, we’d done and WLT would have remained Jon Mulford’s effective one-horse shop. It was a stretch to go out of state, but we’ve always been opportunistic. Wilderness is national.” WLT has been ready to carry its banner to wherever inholdings remain unresolved and problematic. The first border crossing was south to Arizona in September 1995 when WLT purchased 21 parcels and over 500 acres to the BLM in the Swansea Wilderness, all in one transaction.
That same year, WLT made two firsts when it completed its first wilderness area and entered a new state by acquiring the last inholding in the Rattlesnake Wilderness Area in Montana. The banner year of 1995 also saw WLT expand into California, which contains half of the inholdings in the lower 48 states. WLT made its presence known in the Matilja Wilderness where it secured critical habitat for Condors. Continuing to expand in 1995, we purchased and transferred our first property in New Mexico. It’s appropriate that this inholding was in the Gila Wilderness, the world’s first protected wilderness area, administratively designated on June 3, 1924 and Congressionally designated as part of the original Wilderness Act in 1964. WLT moved north to Washington State in 1998 when it acquired two parcels in the Glacier Peak Wilderness. In 2010, WLT purchased three properties in Idaho, beginning its program there by providing access to two of the recently designated Owyhee Wilderness Areas in Little Jacks Creek and the North Fork Owyhee. Most recently, WLT ventured into Nevada when it purchased a parcel on Christmas Eve 2011 completing the East Fork of the High Rock Desert Wilderness Area, a remote wild horse landscape in the northwest corner of the state. The Wilderness Land Trust has also worked on acquisitions and consulted with local and regional partners in Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Michigan, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wyoming and Wisconsin.
TRINITY ALPS : A WILDERNESS TIMBERLAND The second of The Wilderness Land Trust’s $1 million acquisitions was made in 2000 when WLT acquired 638 acres within one mile of the Pacific Crest Trail in a popular recreation area of the Trinity Alps Wilderness. Also conserved were 2.845 million board feet of timber that stands today on the property as a wilderness forest. This was one of Jon Mulford’s last WLT negotiations, and he struck a chord with owner Erling Hjertager, an aged and traditional lumberman who recognized the value of wilderness and agreed to a lower selling price to suit WLT’s budget. WLT conveyed the parcel in 2001, which then became part of the Trinity Alps Wilderness, one of California’s largest, containing 550 miles of maintained trails and 17 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail. Trinity Alps Wilderness totals 525,477 acres of forest lands, large rivers, rushing streams, and 55 lakes. It was designated in 1984.
Sydney Macy The dramatic changes Sydney Macy witnessed growing up in south Denver deeply impressed her. “Where I grew up, it was all country. Now it’s all subdivisions, block-to-block, in what I call ‘tract mansions’. Watching Denver change and watching the brown clouds form had a huge impact on me.”
In 1992 Macy joined the WLT board. “There was vision and passion, and Jon and Sharon ran the trust like a mom and pop operation. It was all very informal. Today, getting WLT to the national/regional level is pretty impressive.” Macy served on the WLT board through the late 1990s and recalls that the Mulfords moved to Oregon around that time, but continued to run WLT out of a camper.
“The Mulfords were roaming for a while, so WLT became a mobile operation. It was like ‘Travels with Charley’, and they were still being effective.”
Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt asks us to acquire an inholding in the Cahone Canyon WSA in southwest Colorado. The property is on the National Register of Historic Places and contains 32 kivas, 2 towers, and a greathouse. We complete the purchase with a grant from the Colorado Historical Society and lose $50,000 on the sale - 2000.
Jon and Sharon Mulford’s camper
BOARD OF DIRECTORS (INCLUDING BILL POPE pg.
11, ANDY WIESSNER pg. 14, AND DOUG SCOTT pg 26)
is retired in Northern California. He worked 20 years in Congress for conservation causes, thirteen of those with Congressman Morris Udall to double the size of the National Parks and triple the size of designated wilderness areas: “That’s the part of my professional life I’m most proud of and why I have a strong attachment to designating wilderness. WLT was a completely logical progression for me - from designating wilderness to completing that work in many of the wilderness areas I had a hand in designating. It has been gratifying for me to follow that arc and complete that connection.”
Eli Townes a former board member 2002-2006 with Jim Blomquist
is a Los Angeles environmental and political consultant who was recruited to the WLT board by Doug Scott: “The work of designating wilderness is only part of the job. When you designate, it’s not all protected, not all the problems are gone. Inholdings are a management concern and WLT has focused on that, making sure that wilderness really is protected. People believe that wilderness is protected by the law forever, but that’s not true. It requires people to remain vigilant.”
Karen Fisher joined the WLT
Board late in 2012. Karen is a molecular biologist and project manager at Genentech; as well as an avid outdoors woman and former kayak guide for Outdoors Unlimited, a group dedicated to sharing their outdoor expertise with others. “WLT is an opportunity for me to connect closely to wilderness, which I love, in a focused, effective and lasting way.” Karen splits her time between work in the Bay area and play in Mammoth Lakes, California.
“Hanging on for dear life but determined to make it to the top!!”
of the Bay Area in Northern California is Global Product Director at The North Face. She is new to the WLT board as of May 2012: “I met Reid and was really impressed and intrigued by WLT and about their objective and how simple it is. WLT is really focused, and it felt like a good match for me. I can see how I can make an impact and how it puts me in a totally different environment.”
lives in Alexandria, Virginia where she continues 30 years of working in land conservation, with a focus on land trusts: “I know land trusts all over the country, but was always intrigued by WLT because of their mission – to acquire private inholdings and convey them as additions to public agencies. Sometimes they are small pieces of very big parcels where private use and exploitation of inholdings can make a huge difference in a wilderness experience. We all need wilderness in our lives, areas where people are not in charge, but where the land and wildlife and natural elements are doing their own thing. That’s important for the soul.”
Jacqueline Van Dine, co-founder of footwear company – Ahnu – a new brand that describes outdoor fashion and lifestyle. “I grew up camping and went fishing with my dad. I’m an avid snow skier. I got into corporate, and that drew me away somewhat, but I’ve always loved the outdoors.”
A friend of Van Dine’s who is president of the Conservation Alliance introduced her to the Wilderness Land Trust. After getting to know the value of WLT’s work, she recently accepted a board position. “An important thing for me is looking toward the future – and to the future of my daughter – by helping to maintain wilderness.”
Mt Whitney, California
is a scientist who lives in Williams, Oregon. He spent 30 years with the National Institutes of Health as a research scientist and is Professor Emeritus at the University of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff: “I walked in the West Elk Wilderness where my wife and I saw one of the insults that WLT tries to avoid – a developed inholding in wilderness. We saw it and couldn’t believe it. The impacts of even small parcels of land are actually enormous given the impacts they can have for miles around on wildlife, vegetation and biological diversity of wilderness, the things we are trying to preserve. These small areas are pivotal to surrounding areas.”
Purchase the Siller Brothers properties in the Trinity Alps and Marble Mountain Wildernesses with a loan from the Resources Legacy Fund Foundation, a newly formed not for profit foundation in California, then headed by Steve McCormick and Mike Mantell. Our first $2 million acquisition - 2000.
Wilderness is Precious
Purchase the west trailhead and parking lot for the West Maroon Pass Trail, which had been built on private land the Forest Service assumed it owned. We bought it quickly, before a controversy developed, with a loan from Jessica Catto. The property was a placer claim known as the Outwest Placer and was located in Schofield Park - 2000.
Tom Hoots was a founding Board Member of the Wilderness Land Trust. Since his retirement as Supervisor for the White River National Forest in Colorado, Tom Hoots has had 20 years to reflect on the role wilderness plays in the National Forest land inventory. “As forest lands gets more and more developed, more and more used, more and more accessed, we need wilderness areas where demand is minimized, with no development, and left in its natural state.” The White River National Forest is blessed to have large tracts of wilderness, but Hoots cautions that increased popularity could require restrictions. “In Southern California you need a permit to go into wilderness because of too many people there. Access is limited as a result. That is how precious wilderness is.” Hoots has worked closely with the Wilderness Land Trust on preserving wilderness inholdings because he values its approach. “One of the key parts of what WLT does is having a personal touch with the people. They aren’t the government coming in; they are private citizens talking to people one-to-one. That personal touch is very important and that’s one of the keys of WLT’s success.”
Seeing Both Sides
Growing up on a ranch in north-central Colorado, Christi McRoy has seen both sides of land property disputes. While she appreciates the rights of private property, she recognizes the damage property rights can do to surrounding wilderness when those rights are exercised on inholdings. “In Grand County we ran into situations where people had inholdings and were trying to close access. As a land owner, I recognized some of their justifications, so I saw both sides.”
2002 Jon stays on half time during the transition and fully retires from the Trust at the end of the year - 2002.
Reid Haughey joins the Trust in May, Jon steps down as President, but remains on as a part time staff member. Reid spends a week in Jon’s basement to learn the history of the Trust 2002.
When an opportunistic land developer attempted to commandeer public lands adjacent to her family ranch for a new ski area, McRoy and her family opposed the pending Forest Service land trade. Forced to find an alternative, she earned what she calls a “master’s degree” in land trades. McRoy and her family prevailed, thanks to help from Jon Mulford and Andy Wiessner. Soon afterwards, when Mulford founded the Wilderness Land Trust, Christi McRoy joined the board to lend her support and expertise. “I saw this as a chance to save our beautiful natural land, and hence my role with WLT.” Doug Scott Joins the Board - 2002
In support of the United Nations International Year of the Mountains, the Trust receives recognition by the Aspen International Mountain Foundation and the Aspen Institute for its contribution to a healthy and sustainable mountain environment - 2002.
2003 Elinor Townes joins the Board - 2002
Sell the Outwest Placer to the Forest Service and ask Jessica Catto to forgive her $200,000 loan to us. She Agrees and the Trust has its first ever acquisition fund. We eventually purchase over $1.6 million worth of land with these funds and still have the $200,000 - 2003.
TRINITY ALPS WILDERNESS A $2 million acquisition by the Wilderness Land Trust became a make-or-break deal. It began in 2000 when WLT president Jon Mulford entered into a contract with Siller Brothers Logging Company for 1,360-acres of inholdings in the Marble Mountain and Trinity Alps Wilderness Areas of Northern California. Though these three separate parcels were high priorities and were offered at a bargain price, Mulford had no means of paying for it. He still signed the contract. Mulford and WLT were rescued by the Resource Legacy Fund Foundation (RLFF), which put up a $2 million loan. However, the sale and transfer didn’t take place for another four years. By then Reid Haughey, who had taken over as president in 2002, realized that WLT was financially strapped. (He’d stopped paying himself and loaned personal funds to keep WLT alive, comforting his wife Mary that it would all work out.) By the time three of the Siller Brothers parcels sold to the Forest Service in 2004 – a slow process due to complex appraisals and wildly fluctuating lumber prices – they had appreciated from $2 million to $2.7 million. With the profits, Haughey was able to reinstate his salary (and preserve his marriage), make WLT flush again, and place spectacular mountain wilderness lands safely in the hands of the federal government. The last Siller Brothers wilderness parcel came into the picture eight years later that WLT scarfed up, completing the integrity of Marble Mountain, Trinity Alps, and Yolla Bolly Wilderness Areas.
This kind of tenacious work led to a long-term partnership between WLT and RLFF, resulting in the acquisition and donation of over $32 million in subsequent inholding acquisitions in partnership with RLFF.
A Great Partnership
Michael Mantell, co-founder and Chief Counsel for the Sacramento-based Resources Legacy Fund Foundation (RLFF), is particular about his conservation partners. When Mantell was introduced to WLT in 2001, he checked its credibility. “We did due diligence on them and found that they did really good work. Later, we put together a loan for three inholdings on the North Coast, and they did a great job: They got the parcels, they were able to sell them to the Forest Service, and they were able to pay back the money.” Mantell worked with WLT during the Preserving Wild California campaign in 2003, the Wilderness Bill of 2006, and the Omnibus bill in 2009. “WLT is an important player in wilderness study areas. Their work was critical in allowing those designations to go forward.” Mantell has come to rely on WLT as a trusted partner.
“WLT does important work, but it’s largely below the radar screen. They don’t seek a lot of attention. They do the job and they do it well. They have a distinct role to play that’s not glamorous, but so important. Their job is not only to make new wilderness, but to protect the wilderness we have. It’s been a great partnership.”
Bettina Ring joins the Trust to establish a California program, opening our office in San Francisco, which means we get a California cell phone - 2003.
Bill Pope joins the Board - 2003
Mark Trautwein joins the Board - 2003
“More Work to Do”
When Doug Scott became a WLT board member in 2003 he urged acquiring inholdings within proposed Wilderness Areas. “I thought this would have an influence on getting larger tracts included rather than lopping off portions to avoid conflicts. I saw the huge advantage of having a non-political player negotiate deals with land owners, and that such work would only improve opportunities for larger wilderness areas.” Scott values WLT’s niche. “The Wild Sky Wilderness was dotted with old mining claims, and that complication was used by those fighting the wilderness designation. It was the Wilderness Land Trust that helped get those claims cleaned up. WLT did similar work in California on the South Eel Wilderness proposal, which was literally checker boarded with private ownership. We were able to point Reid [Haughey] at this problem, and ultimately these lands were acquired.” Judging WLT’s effectiveness is not a matter of measuring acreage, reminds Scott.
ea we’re dealing with, ar ed os op pr or s es rn lde wi r “Whicheve rness without threats of lde wi e ol wh re mo a s me co be it development from inholdings.” Scott’s vision is to create more wilderness and therefore more work for WLT. “Reid likes to say that he works to put WLT out of business, while I like to work to create more work for WLT. I think we’ve all got more work to do.”
Acquire 7 properties in the proposed Elkhorn Ridge Wilderness dramatically unifying the landscape for eventual designation in 2008.
SECURING FUTURE WILDERNESS The Wilderness Land Trust made an important policy move in 2003 when it expanded its focus on inholdings to include proposed wilderness areas, a move urged by board member Doug Scott. “This reconnected us with the designation movement,” explains Scott. “Rather than mire in land takings after wilderness boundaries are drawn, it’s about resource conservation before they’re drawn. The idea is to avoid acrimony at the beginning of the process.” WLT made its first proactive acquisition in 1994 when it secured 1,320 acres in the James Peak area of Colorado. “It’s become programmatic for us ever since,” says WLT president Reid Haughey. “We pave the way by eliminating controversies over sensitive lands.” Acquisitions in the Elkhorn Ridge Wilderness Area in Northern California in 2004-05 made it feasible for a Congressional designation in 2011. WLT ironically created its own inholding by buying land surrounding the last remaining parcel.
In 2004, WLT added 1,360 acres to the proposed Beauty Mountain Wilderness Area of California, building a wilderness where none had been before. In 2007, WLT. added to the Wild Sky Wilderness Area in Washington State, which was designated in 2008
In 2010, WLT acquired a 2,450-acre inholding in the Avawatz Mountains in the California desert, adding to proposed wilderness under the California Desert Protection Act, sponsored in 2012 by Senator Diane Feinstein.
KING RANGE WILDERNESS : BEACH - FRONT PROPERTY ON THE LOST COAST Purchase the Agra-Empire Property (1,360) in the Beauty Mountain WSA, California. Our first $3 million acquisition - 2004.
During a site visit to the Goss property – a 10-acre inholding in the King Range of California – Wilderness Land Trust president Reid Haughey saw first hand why WLT’s work is so important. He and Charlotte Hawks, of the BLM realty division, were sitting on the beach watching the Pacific swells tumble into surf when a through-hiker on the Lost Coast Trail came strolling across the beach on the private land WLT was in the process of transferring to the federal government.
“That emphasized the point to me,” says Haughey, “because that hiker didn’t have a clue that the trail was on private land, which is exactly the way it should have been.” The Trust receives the Bob Marshall Award from the USDA Forest Service - 2004
WLT bought and deeded the property in 2006 – the same year as the King Range Wilderness designation – clearing title to the Lost Coast Trail for future hikers who need never know that private property, trespass, and cattle grazing had been lifted from this hiking paradise.
“We wanted to avoid a situation where someone could have built a fence and closed off the Lost Coast trail,” reflects Haughey. “Not many people go there, but it’s really well loved.”
Ed Hastey was born and raised in California where, as a boy in the 1930s and ‘40s, he packed mules in the High Sierras with his uncle. That early exposure to wild places emerged later as a personal wilderness conservation ethic.
“Over the years,” reflects Hastey, “I have re-thought the values of wilderness, and it really makes sense to preserve it when looking at the larger ecosystems. Understanding the larger impact of wilderness in the West is still hard given that a lot of people are really opposed to it. It was an evolutionary process for me.” Hastey became a friend of the Wilderness Land Trust after retiring as California State Director of the Bureau of Land Management in 1999. Almost immediately, he went to work for the Resources Legacy Fund (RLF), doing large-scale conservation work in California.
nsel Adams Ed and sons in the A ler lake. wilderness near Sad In this role, Hastey hired WLT to complete an inventory of inholdings for the Boxer Bill, a statewide wilderness proposal, which led to an RLF grant for $2 million for WLT to acquire high priority inholdings. Since then, WLT has acquired about $32 million of land in California with RLF funds, mostly through the agency of Ed Hastey. “I don’t know of any other organization that has the credibility of the Wilderness Land Trust in working the whole West with a relatively small staff and very little overhead. WLT has a good reputation on the Hill and in DC, and they’ve done a lot of good work for us in the desert area and on the north coast. They deal with the little parcels, the toughest ones. It’s work intensive, which is why no one else likes to do it.”
The polio scare of the 1950s first brought Jessica Hobby Catto to the mountain of Colorado. She and a girlfriend were sent by concerned parents from their native Houston to higher altitude at Estes Park where the polio virus was less virulent. Later, Jessica’s family spent summers in Aspen where the mountains became a deep passion, not only for physical health, but spiritual enrichment.
She Loved the Land
Jessica’s passion for wild lands was demonstrated when, in 2000, she loaned the Wilderness Land Trust $200,000 for the purchase of a mining claim – the Outwest Placer – that was being used as the trailhead and parking lot for the West Maroon Pass Trail in Schofield Park. The Forest Service had assumed it owned the property, but was surprised when it was listed for sale by a Crested Butte Realtor. WLT quickly bought the claim before it became a controversy and, in 2003, transferred it to the Forest Service. Following the transfer, WLT presidents Jon Mulford and Reid Haughey visited Jessica to humbly ask her to forgive the loan and support WLT in sustaining its operations during a lean time. Jessica considered the request for a split second, and said “YES!” This enabled WLT, not only to survive, but to apply Jessica’s gift to future land purchases that have since totaled $1.6 million, with her original sum still intact. The Land Acquisition Fund initiated with this gift, is now called the Wilderness Opportunity Fund and gives WLT immediate access to land acquisitions. Jessica Hobby Catto, noted conservationist, died on Sept. 30, 2009. She is remembered for her powerful spirit and humor, love of family, and desire to fight for causes she considered vital. She died at her beloved ranch in Woody Creek at age 72.
Jim Blomquist joins the Board - 2004
Mending a Broken Landscape
As the wife of US Senator Tim Wirth, Wren Wirth has long been aware of the impacts of private inholdings on Wilderness. When Jon Mulford sought to enlist her support for WLT in 2000, Wirth was immediately convinced of his effectiveness and sincerity. “Jon’s imposing but humble demeanor and his conviction in the significance of what he was doing made him the perfect man for his mission.” Wirth became an important donor whose 2003 grant helped keep WLT alive at a critical time. Her regard for WLT grew with every acquisition.
“Nothing has integrity if it is broken into pieces. Western land was chopped up like so many eggs, with wildly irregular boundary lines.” Late in the year, Bettina Ring leaves the Trust to become the Executive Director of the Bay Area Open Space Council in San Francisco - 2005.
Wirth appreciates that many of the jigsaw puzzle boundaries of federal lands have been adjusted with acquisitions by WLT. “Without this critically important work, wilderness areas would be pockmarked with hideous scarring from incursions of every imaginable sort. It has to be done and WLT has proven that it can do it.”
At the beginning of 2005, David Kirk joins the Trust to take on the Arizona program, which means we get another cell phone, this time with an Arizona number - 2005.
Chinese Wall - Flat Tops Wilderness
es Peak m a J e k a L Ice
Castle Peak e - E agles Nest
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oon Avalanche Creek, Mar Bells - Snowmass
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Nikki Nedeff joins the Staff as it’s Vice President and takes over the California program - 2005.
Karin Evans joined the Trust in At the beginning of 2005, David Kirk joined the Trust to take on the Arizona program
David Kirk joins the staff as it’s Senior Lands Specialist, concentrating his efforts in Arizona 2005
2005. She resides in Carbondale CO and is responsible for supporting development, marketing, land acquisition activities and administration.
Karin Evans joins the Staff - 2005
Bettina Ring joined the Trust in
2003 to run the California program. She left the trust late in 05 to become the Executive Director of the Bay Area Open Space Council in San Francisco.
2006 Acquire Cedar Hill out of an auction, moving quickly with the support of the Resources Legacy Foundation. This is our largest acquisition to date – 3,748 acres in Mono County, California. It can be identified from a commercial plane flying overhead - 2006.
Purchase the Big Horn Mine from the Cherokee Nevada Mining Corporation, a 277 acre inholding in the Sheep Mountain Wilderness, California. The owner has two gold mines and will sell one to create capital for opening the other in light of predicted rising gold prices. We acquire it as a bargain sale - 2006.
Enter into a contract to acquire the Dow property in the Hells Canyon Wilderness, Arizona. It falls through - 2006.
Aimee Rutledge joined the Trust to lead the California program in 2009, moving the office to Sacramento.
Nikki Nedeff was the Vice President of WLT and Director of the California program from 2006 to 2009.
Big Horn Mine: A Real Gold Mine Prospectors in 1859 discovered gold in the San Gabriel Mountains and developed what became known as the Big Horn Mine. Named for Nelson’s Big Horn Sheep, which still roam across northern Los Angeles County, the Big Horn became a literal gold mine for the Wilderness Land Trust, which acquired it in 2006. Aside from an estimated 262,000 ounces of gold reportedly left in mountain, the mine included a 277-acre inholding in the Sheep Mountain Wilderness of California. WLT not only profited from the conservation value of the $1 million acquisition, the Trust realized a $400,000 profit on the $1.9 million transfer sale to the US Forest Service in 2011. “Profits from the sale helped keep WLT alive,” says Trust president Reid Haughey. At the beginning of 2006, Nikki Nedeff joins the Trust as its Vice President, moving our California office in Carmel Valley, California - 2006 Linda McNulty joins the Board - 2006
Tim Calloway, Former Owner
The Big Horn Mine is just 45 minutes from Los Angeles and features abundant water from springs, which increased the value of the mine property for potential development. Now those springs attract a rich diversity of wildlife including bighorn sheep, deer, coyotes, bears, and mountain lions.
Buying A Wilderness Gold Mine
In 2007, The Wilderness Land Trust acquired the Big Horn Mine, a popular hiking destination in the Sheep Mountain Wilderness of Southern California. That 277-acre purchase was made possible through a loan by David Bonderman, principle of Texas Pacific Group, one of the largest private equity investment firms globally.
“I became involved with WLT through a particular project which had a lot of merit.
It looked like an interesting opportunity to make sure the mine didn’t get put back into service, and the pricing was right. It was an opportunity to make a difference.” Bonderman has served on the Wilderness Society Board and on the Grand Canyon Trust for over 15 years. He is on the board of the Wyss Foundation and a supporter of wilderness conservation. Jim Blomquist, takes a photo from under the roof of the abandoned ore mill
ance The entr
ine of the m
Jim Blomquist clim bs up an old wooden ladder to ga in access to the long-abandoned gold ore mill.
Preservation, not profit, takes precedence at Big Horn Mine in the San Gabriels
Strengthening National Wilderness Areas
With 193 million acres of National Forest Service lands under his administration, Harris Sherman, Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is grateful for a working partnership with WLT.
“WLT is an invaluable partner to us by serving as an intermediary in negotiations with private property owners. We have found them to be nimble and quick in responding to potential threats. WLT has been valuable to us throughout the West.” Acquire our second Agra-Empire property (960 acres) in partnership with the State of California, creating a unified landscape where wilderness has been designated north of the county line and proposed south of the county line. Until WLT completed these two purchases, the property was never considered for designation because it was predominantly owned by a corporate farm as watershed for its fields. It is now wilderness and a State park, wedged between Temecula and suburban growth north of San Diego that links established Tribal and Federally Designated Wilderness - 2007.
Sherman credits WLT for being not only convenient and expedient, but vital to the continuity and integrity of wilderness. “I want to emphasize how exceptional WLT is in its efforts and what an incredible difference they make. They have conserved thousands of acres through 370 transactions in 80 current or proposed wilderness areas. The Wilderness Land Trust has significantly added to the goal of strengthening and protecting our national wilderness areas.”
As President of the Wilderness Society, Bill Meadows has touched more wilderness areas, legislatively, than perhaps the most ambitious hiker could cover in a lifetime. “Our major focus is building political support for wilderness all across the country.
“Frequently, there are conflicts with inholdings. It’s important having WLT there to resolve these problems as they occur. They bring money and create opportunities to make wilderness areas whole.”
Finding Wilderness in Washinton
Founded in 1935, The Wilderness Society has led the effort to designate nearly 110 million acres of wilderness, most of it in the West. “The West is where the wilderness is, but earlier land use patterns created holes in some of our prime areas. WLT plays a critically important role. It is unique, distinct, and is all about addressing the integrity of wilderness areas.”
Where the Wilderness Society uses its broad influence on national campaigns, WLT is in the field walking boundaries, inventorying inholdings and writing checks for wilderness lands. “Wilderness conflicts are the political reality of the world we live in and WLT has looked for opportunities to resolve them. I’ve been a huge friend and advocate for their work.” Enter into a contract to acquire the Dow property in the Hells Canyon Wilderness, Arizona. It falls through - 2007
BLM publicly recognizes WLT at a formal ceremony at Mono Lake for the donation of the 3,748 acre Cedar Hill property in Mono County California, our largest acquisition to date - 2007.
HELLS CANYON WILDERNESS, ARIZONA The price was steep at $2.75 million, but that was just part of the cost for conserving the only inholding in Arizona’s Hells Canyon Wilderness 640-acres that included the wilderness areas namesake canyon! For years the BLM had sought to purchase this largest privately owned parcel in any Arizona wilderness, but was never able to close the deal. The Wilderness Land Trust was brought in to try its hand in 2006, but its contract with the owners, the Dow family, fell through, as it did again in 2007. The Dows then struck a deal with the Ben Brooks Co., a prominent real estate developer, who saw the property as land swap potential. WLT pursued Brooks until the property was finally acquired by WLT in 2008 with loans from two large foundations. Ben Brooks was killed in a motorcycle accident before the sale closed, but the deal went through and the parcel completed in the Hells Canyon Wilderness, designation in 2009. WLT’s perseverance fulfilled a vision, not only for WLT and its supporters, but also of the late Arizona Senator Morris Udall, who had many years before endorsed Hells Canyon as an Arizona treasure.
Purchase the Dow property from the David Brooks Company in the Hells Canyon Wilderness, Arizona, completing the wilderness and protecting the Hells Canyon for which it is named – 2008.
Purchase the last wilderness property owned by the Siller Brothers Logging Company, located in the Yolla Bolly Wilderness, California - 2008.
Acquire Edgar Ranch, 2,430 acres between the Domeland and Sacatar Trail Wilderness Area, adjacent to both wilderness areas with the intent of donating it to the US, thereby expanding and connecting the two wildernesses - 2008.
Profiting from Partnership
In 1998, Chris Killingsworth left a job with Interior in Washington to become Planning Director and then Assistant Manager at the newly designated Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah. She has made protecting the western wilderness her goal ever since. “I live here because I love wild places and love getting out in them. It’s a very important part of my life and my work.” Today, Killingsworth serves as Vice President at the Wyss Foundation, whose mission is protecting wild landscapes in the American West, a role shared with WLT.
Vancouver Island, BC
“Whether they’re protecting one or 20 acres, WLT has the potential for protecting thousands or even millions of acres of surrounding wilderness from the possibility of new roads. It’s a very strategic and targeted way to protect large areas by focusing on small tracts of lands.” A partnership developed between WLT and Wyss on the Hells Canyon Wilderness Area near Phoenix. “The Wilderness Land Trust worked on Hells Canyon for years, and they finally pulled it off. It showed that they were tenacious and willing to take calculated risks. They succeeded because they take a professional approach and are aggressive when necessary.”
Fisher Towers in Castle Valley, Utah
Expanding Wilderness - Sacatar Trail to Domeland, CA The 2,430-acre Sacatar Trail acquisition by the Wilderness Land Trust in 2008 expanded and connected the Domeland and Sacatar Trail Wilderness Areas in the southern Sierra Nevada Mountains. It is one of the largest transfers ever handled by WLT. Edgar Ranch was purchased by WLT for $3 million with funds from the Resource Legacy Fund Foundation and was spared from potential future development.
The site not only divided two wilderness areas, it contains lithic obsidian used for prehistoric tools, plus ancient pictographs and petroglyphs. As a result of this acquisition, the BLM honored WLT with an award of special recognition. “The BLM continues to appreciate the vision and support provided by The Wilderness Land Trust to protect these important lands,” said Tim Smith, BLM Bakersfield Field Manager. Senator Barbara Boxer of California added: “I commend the Wilderness Land Trust for its effort to protect these important lands and to preserve them in their natural state.” This project expanded and connected these wildernesses through the Section 6 legislation.
Sacatar Trail Wilderness Chimney Peak Wilderness
Owens Peak Wilderness
Section 6: Streamlining Wilderness Designations When the Edgar Ranch parcel was acquired by the Wilderness Land Trust, it was transferred to the Bureau of Land Management for immediate inclusion in the Domeland and Sacatar Trail Wilderness Areas, which it linked. Congress was not called upon to act on making this parcel a new designation thanks to Section 6 of The Wilderness Act of 1964. Section 6 is an important piece of legislation that allows the US Secretary of the Interior to accept donated land adjacent to designated wilderness and decree it as wilderness without further legislative debate. Section 6 therefore streamlines the legislative process and significantly eases new designations of this kind. “We’ve done these donations before through the Forest Service, Park Service and BLM,” explains WLT president Reid Haughey. “We have plowed this ground so that others can do it more easily.” Still, only about 5% of the entire United States—an area slightly larger than the state of California—is protected as wilderness. Because Alaska contains just over half of America’s wilderness, only about 2.7% of the contiguous United States—an area about the size of Minnesota—is protected as wilderness. Roughly the same amount of the contiguous US is paved.
The Wilderness Act of 1964 Sec. 6. (a) The Secretary of Agriculture may accept gifts or bequests of land within wilderness areas designated by this Act for preservation as wilderness. The Secretary of Agriculture may also accept gifts or bequests of land adjacent to wilderness areas designated by this Act for preservation as wilderness if he has given sixty days advance notice thereof to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Land accepted by the Secretary of Agriculture under this section shall become part of the wilderness area involved. Regulations with regard to any such land may be in accordance with such agreements, consistent with the policy of this Act, as are made at the time of such gift, or such conditions, consistent with such policy, as may be included in, and accepted with, such bequest.
Buck Parker joins the Board - 2008
Nikki Nedeff leaves the Trust to spend more time with family early in the year - 2009.
In the second quarter, Aimee Rutledge joins the Trust to lead the California program, moving our office to Sacramento - 2009.
Paul Torrence joins the Board - 2009
Avawatz Salt and Gypsum - Death Valley Wilderness There are many creative ways to secure important inholdings, but buying a mining company in Death Valley is one for the books. Thatâ€™s what the Wilderness Land Trust did in 2010 when it purchased, not only a choice inholding, but the mining company that owned it. Purchased our first property in Nevada, completing the East Fork High Rock Desert Wilderness Area - 2012.
2012 The Avawatz Salt and Gypsum Company (Avawatz is the name of a local Indian tribe) owned 2,450 acres of land in the Death Valley Wilderness Study Area. This private parcel was inhibiting its designation as wilderness, which is why it was left out of the California 1994 Desert Protection Act. For tax reasons, the mine owners elected to sell the company rather than only the land. WLT bought the company and merged it with a for profit subsidiary created by the Trust, forming the Avawatz Acquisition Corporation (ACC). ACC then issued 500 shares of stock, wholly owned by WLT, which disbanded the corporation and deeded the land to the BLM in 2011. Avawatz Mountains Wilderness is now part of the California Desert Protection Act of 2011, which encompasses 86,614 acres of rugged mountains and lush desert oases around numerous springs that provide water to bighorn sheep, coyotes, bobcats, and roadrunners.
It’s All About Love
When WLT supporters dig deep to describe their commitment – as shown by the interviews in this scrapbook – they describe individual connections where love for nature is at the heart of it.
The values of wilderness grow as they are recognized more and more as an antidote to the frenetic pace of a rapidly urbanizing world. The solace of silence and the respite of wildlands are more cherished as they become all too rare. The WLT board and staff rely on you – our donors, land owners, and land managers – to make our work effective so that together we may protect the irreplaceable landscapes that have historically shaped the American character with physical challenge, scenic wonder, spiritual enrichment, and love of place.
WLT has more good work to do, and we can only move forward with new commitments and continued support from you. With your help we can continue the ongoing challenge of making wilderness whole.
“Here feel we but the penalty of Adam, The seasons’ difference, as the icy fang And churlish chiding of the winter’s wind, Which, when it bites and blows upon my body, Even till I shrink with cold, I smile and say ‘This is no flattery: these are counselors That feelingly persuade me what I am.’ Sweet are the uses of adversity, Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous, Wears yet a precious jewel in his head; And this our life exempt from public haunt Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, Sermons in stones and good in every thing. I would not change it.” -Duke Senior “As You Like It”, William Shakespeare
Liz Braund joins the Board - 2012
For me it started..., How about you?
A typical suburban pubescent kid, all feet and hands, I was given the gift of wilderness. In the Wheeler Wilderness of New Mexico I climbed a small rock outcropping to watch the sun go down, only to experience nervously sharing the top with an equally nervous rattlesnake. It coiled. I could not recoil. So, we watched the sun go down in still silence. Eventually my companion calmly left. So did I. As a young teen, navigating Quetico Provincial Park required running rapids I didn’t want to run in an open canoe, but, no choice. After several weeks of these hourly decisions, responsibility came easier. I use these lessons every day and am better for it. It is an honor to be able to dedicate my labor as President of the Wilderness Land Trust to passing these opportunities forward to others. At WLT we keep the promise of wilderness. In one sense, we complete the designated wilderness that so many have worked so hard to protect. The development of private lands inside wilderness can compromise the whole wilderness as we have painfully learned. But what is the wilderness promise we keep?
We keep the promise of a connection to nature and all that it can teach. We keep the promise to pass on all that wilderness has to offer.
Aldo Leopold famously said “the first rule of intelligent tinkering is to save all the parts”.
At WLT, we do our part of save the instructions – the healthy, sustainable ecosystems that are sustained in wilderness. The opportunity to learn. To grow. To provide.
States Wilderness Areas Designated Proposed Other Total Transferred Purchased Total Parcels Acre AZ
5 Total Hells Canyon Mt. Tipton Muggins Mountain Swansea Wabayuma Peak
5 1 1 1 1 1
57 1 13 2 24 17
53 1 10 2 23 17
4 0 3 0 1 0
2398.59 640 470 190 593.59 505
49 Total Beauty Mountain WSA Bodie Mountain Big Maria Mountains Bristol Mountain Cadiz Dunes Cady Mountains Cache Creek Chuckwalla Mountains Dead Mountains Death Valley WSA Domeland Eastern San Diego Planning Elkhorn Ridge El Paso Golden Trout Granite Mountain WSA Grass Valley Jacumba Kelso Dunes King Range Kingston Range Lassen Volcanic Little Chuchwalla Marble Mountain Matilija Milpitas Wash Area
175 5 3 1 2 1 2 2 2 6 2 2 1 14 4 2 2 5 2 1 2 5 1 4 1 1 1
168 5 3 1 1 1 2 2 1 6 2 2 1 14 4 2 2 5 2 1 2 5 1 4 1 1 1
7 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
27243.98 2322.25 3748 625.14 163.75 160 100 240 20 273.71 2450 240 5 1564.11 240 80 120 55 40 20 90 1310 80 85 640 20 80
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
States Wilderness Areas Designated Proposed Other Total Transferred Purchased Total Parcels Acre
Mokelumne Mount Shasta North Algodones Dunes Old Woman Mountains Owens Peak Palen/McCoy Piute Rice Valley Sacatar Trail Sanhedrin San Rafael Santa Lucia Sheep Mountain Sheephole Valley Siskiyou Soda Mountains WSA South Sierra South Warner WSA Timbered Crater Trinity Alps Tunnison WSA Ventana Yolla Bolly
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
20 Total Browns Canyon Cahone Canyon WSA Camel Back WSA Collegiate Peaks Eagles Nest Flattops Holy Cross Hunter-Fryingpan Indian Peaks
1 1 1 1
1 1 1 1 1 1
1 1 1 1
3 1 1 1
1 2 1 36 2 6 1 11 1 1 1 1 2 10 1 4 1 1 2 6 5 1 4
1 2 1 36 2 6 1 11 1 1 1 0 2 10 1 4 1 1 2 6 3 0 3
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 1
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 157 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 160 640
112 1 1 1 12 4 1 24 1 3
110 1 1 1 12 4 1 24 1 3
2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
328.2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
States Wilderness Areas Designated Proposed Other Total Transferred Purchased Total Parcels Acre 1 1 27 1 2 3 17 2 4 4 2
0 1 26 1 2 3 17 2 4 4 2
1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
318 0 10.2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2 1 1
2 1 1
0 0 0
0 0 0
East Fork High Rock
3 Total Glacier Peak Stephen Mather Wild Sky
3 1 1 1
8 3 1 4
7 3 1 3
1 0 0 1
0 0 0 0
James Peak Lizard Head Maroon Bells/Snowmass Mount Massive Mount Sneffels Never Summer Raggeds Sangre de Cristo Spanish Peaks Weminuche White River National Forest
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
1 Total Owyhee
1 Total Rattlesnake
2 Total Gila El Malpais