Our Mission

“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.”  

Harris Sherman

We Keep the Promise of Wilderness – by acquiring and transferring private lands to public ownership to complete designated and proposed wilderness areas, or directly protect wilderness values.

The 1964 Wilderness Act created a globally unique system of 765 wilderness areas where “man is a visitor that does not remain.” The National Wilderness Preservation System is a wildlife safe-haven for threatened and endangered species, a reservoir for clean air and water in a rapidly changing climate, a refuge from the noise and pace of cities, and an opportunity to experience the profound beauty of nature.

These landscapes provide meaning to you and your family, generating stories of adventure, discovery and inspiration. They are special places that you cherish, hopeful for their future and its inhabitants to remain untrammeled, wild and free.

As an organization, we are motivated by the same values as you, a reverence for the land and the complex communities of life it supports. We express this by striving to preserve a rich legacy of protected wilderness through persistent, professional and fair acquisition of private lands that complete the promise of wilderness.

The Wilderness Land Trust is the only national conservation organization solely dedicated to purchasing privately owned lands within designated and proposed wilderness areas to remove land management conflicts stemming from commercial, industrial and residential development.

Private land (inholdings) is one of the greatest threats to the globally unique, 110 million acre preservation system that millions of people have spent 54 years creating. When private inholdings are developed, they essentially tear a hole in the fabric of surrounding wilderness.

Some 180,000 acres of private inholdings remain within federally designated wilderness areas in the lower 48 states, not including Alaska, and the work of The Wilderness Land Trust to remove these inholdings ensures our nation’s wilderness areas remain forever wild for future generations.