Lundy Canyon Campaign Success!

 May 16, 2019 —  We are thrilled to announce we have met our fundraising goal to protect Lundy Canyon in the Eastern Sierra! This 49-acre former mining claim within the Inyo National Forest is adjacent a popular hiking trail into the upper entrance of Lundy Canyon. It has been identified as a high priority for protection from private development in order to conserve Mill Creek, safeguard wildlife habitat and ensure recreational access for the public.

Lundy Canyon in the Eastern Sierra, Hoover Wilderness, California

After launching a GoFundMe campaign, we received numerous generous donations through the campaign and directly to the Trust, raising the $10,000 necessary to complete the purchase and transfer the property to public ownership within the Inyo National Forest.

We are grateful to our supporters, the Sam Dietrich family and Mono Market, and to our partners at the Mono Lake Committee and Eastern Sierra Land Trust for helping to make this happen. Please join our email list for updates on our work protecting wilderness for you and future generations.


The Trust Takes a Field Trip

 May 3, 2019 — Last weekend our staff, board, and project partners gathered outside San Luis Obispo, CA to experience the incredible beauty of one of our Trout Creek properties adjacent the Garcia and Santa Lucia Wilderness. These projects protect more than 800 acres of scenic viewshed and public trail access into the wilderness areas.

The Wilderness Land Trust and friends begin a hike towards the
Garcia Wilderness, California

We were greeted by lush green landscapes, spring blooms, cool clean water and yes, a few patches of poison oak – which we deftly avoided!

After our hike, we gathered for our semi-annual board retreat, where we officially welcomed new board members Sarah Chase Shaw, Zack Porter and Craig Groves, and returning board member Paul Torrence. I am continually amazed by the good work my staff and board accomplish to protect our nation’s wilderness, and I look forward to sharing the details of several new projects later this spring.

Trout Creek is your success story. Please invite your friends and family to subscribe to our e-News for more stories like this and to learn more about our work. We love sharing good news!

Your Continued Success in New Mexico

New Mexico — The Wilderness Land Trust has closed on a 20-acre property that “cherry-stems” into the Columbine Hondo Wilderness in the Carson National Forest. The Commodore Lode property is located in Long Canyon, adjacent a popular wilderness access trail near Taos Ski Valley.

The Columbine Hondo Wilderness was designated in 2014. Our purchase helps protect the viewshed above the north fork of the Red River, a major tributary to the upper Rio Grande River and

View from the Commodore Lode property

ensures continued public access into the designated wilderness. We now start the process of transferring this land over to public ownership as part of the Carson National Forest.

In addition to the Commodore Lode, your generous support in New Mexico has protected land in the El Malpais National Conservation area, and the Sabinoso and Gila Wilderness areas.

Congratulations on another win in New Mexico, and your continued investment in protecting our nation’s unique wilderness heritage. Thank you!

Curious about wilderness we’ve protected near you? Visit our website regularly for updates on our work throughout the country and please share our work on Facebook!

The Trust Receives Conservation Award

Castle Crags Wilderness

March 22, 2019 — This week we are proud to learn we are the recipient of the Access Fund’s Land Conservation Award for permanently protecting the Castle Crags in northern California.

In 2013, our partnership with the Fund helped us secure two square miles of land
adjacent to the Castle Crags Wilderness from a local timber company. In 2018, we successfully transferred the 1256-acre parcel to public ownership for inclusion in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest.

Enhancing public access to a world-class climbing area, saving old-growth forest that surrounds the Crags and protecting spawning habitat in Little Castle Creek are significant, as is protecting the landscape’s history, according to Aimee Rutledge, our vice president and senior lands specialist.

“The land contains dramatic rock outcrops and amazing views that are part of local history. The Wintu Tribe fought and died to protect it, and still come for spiritual healing, guidance and to collect plants for medicinal purposes,” says Rutledge.

We are very grateful to the Access Fund for helping to make this project possible.

Connecting People to the Land

March 8, 2019 — The North Fork Owyhee Wilderness Area is located in southwest Idaho near the Oregon border. The landscape is diverse, ranging from river canyons over a thousand feet deep to open expanses of sagebrush and grassland plateaus.

Eight years ago this week we transferred more than 600 acres adjacent the North Fork Owyhee River to the Bureau of Land Management for permanent protection. On this anniversary, we asked Rick Johnson, executive director for the Idaho Conservation League, how this project has benefitted the wilderness and those seeking to experience the land. This is what he said:

Through the work of The Wilderness Land Trust, a remarkable riverfront homestead is now open to the public and protected as wilderness. The area is a short hike from the North Fork Campground off the Owyhee Uplands Scenic Byway and is a regular stop on our Owyhee tours. We have seen cougar tracks and caught native redband trout here. The Trust has helped reconnect people to this place and created a portal into the wilderness. 

We love hearing how our work impacts wilderness and provides access for the public. Check out our website for more stories like this, and please share this with your family and friends. And, if this story has inspired you to visit Idaho, the Owyhee is stunning in the springtime.

A Bipartisan Victory for Public Lands

02.12.19 We are cheering on the U.S. SENATE for passing a public lands package that includes permanent re-authorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). From designated wilderness to national parks to neighborhood playgrounds, the Fund is a benefit to everyone in the community.

This legislation will permanently authorize a federal program to use offshore drilling revenue to enhance everything from wilderness areas and national parks to wildlife preserves, community parks and neighborhood playgrounds. Authorization for LWCF lapsed several months ago and we have been very hopeful for this outcome.

Protecting our Public Lands isn’t about politics – it’s about children, families, communities, and investing in future generations.

Congratulations to everyone who has worked diligently towards permanent re-authorization of LWCF, including Sen. Maria Cantwell, D – WA and Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R – AK who introduced this bipartisan legislation.

Four Months, Four States and Seven Properties!

12.14.18  From Colorado to Washington, we took important steps over the last four months to remove the threat of development on seven properties, saving critical fish and wildlife habitat, and protecting more wilderness for anyone with a love of the outdoors.

  • In mid-August, we purchased three properties totaling 27 acres within the Weminuche Wilderness in Colorado behind beautiful Emerald Lake.
  • In September, we returned 33 acres to Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park after removing a 2,000 sq. ft. house and restoring the land to its natural state.
  • In October, we acquired the 324-acre California Condor/High Mountain/Trout Creek trail property, ensuring public access into the Santa Lucia and Garcia Wilderness areas.
  • In November, we closed on a 345-acre mining property in the heart of the Wild Sky Wilderness of Washington state and purchased a 60-acre mining claim adjacent to the Little Chetco River, the last remaining private inholding within the 180,000-acre Kalmiopsis Wilderness in Oregon.

Thank You and a Look Ahead

1.11.19  We can’t think of a better way to start the new year than by saying thank you, and to give you an early look at 11 properties – more than 1,100 acres – we plan to transfer in 2019 to the US Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management for permanent protection.

In California we plan to transfer three Trout Creek properties (804 acres) to the Los Padres National Forest. Located near San Luis Obispo, this land provides vital habitat for endangered species, and ensures public access into the Garcia and Santa Lucia Wilderness areas.

In Colorado we will eliminate the threat of development by permanently protecting five properties (117 acres). This includes three mining claims above beautiful Emerald Lake and the Sally Bowman mine in the Weminuche Wilderness, as well as an 80-acre property within the proposed West Elk Wilderness.

In New Mexico we will transfer a 10-acre Ponderosa Trail property to protect part of the El Malpais Wilderness – home to elk, bats, volcanic badlands and caves.

In Oregon, we are preserving recreational trail access to the Snake River with the transfer of the McGraw Creek property (138 acres). And in Washington state we are protecting critical old growth forests by transferring the 20 acre Jasperson Lode mining claim in the Wild Sky Wilderness.

By the way, we’re just getting started. Thanks to your support, 2019 is going to be a busy year!

A Final Threat Eliminated from the Kalmiopsis Wilderness

11.30.18  We are thrilled to report we have closed on the purchase of a 60-acre mining claim adjacent to the Little Chetco River, the last remaining private inholding within the 180,000 acre Kalmiopsis Wilderness.

This southwest Oregon wilderness contains the headwaters of three national wild and scenic rivers — the Chetco, North Fork Smith, and Illinois — clean, clear waters that provide critical habitat for salmon and steelhead. The World Wildlife Fund has labeled this land as one of the most botanically diverse areas in North America.

Our acquisition eliminates forever the threat from a tourist mining operation, and the potential removal of thousands of tons of river gravel that would have directly impacted critical spawning beds and water quality of the Chetco River drainage.

After we finish restoring this land to its natural state, we will transfer the property to the US Forest Service to become a part of the the Kalmiopsis Wilderness.

This is your success story. Share the good news and our work with your family and friends, and thank you for believing in us.

Tenacity Results in a Win for Wild Sky

11.16.18  Jon Mulford founded The Wilderness Land Trust in 1992 with a long-range mission to acquire unprotected private land within designated wilderness and return it to public ownership. He cultivated the Trust’s steady and tenacious work ethic with the understanding that some successes take time. In the late 1990’s, Jon established a relationship between the Trust and a company that owned a 345-acre mining property in the Wild Sky Wilderness of Washington state.

A sale was not imminent at that time, but in early 2000, board member Bill Pope picked up the torch and continued the Trust’s connection with the landowners. Bill says it best: “The Evergreen land was one of the largest private properties left in Wild Sky and I knew it was critical for us to protect it, no matter how long it took to make it happen.”

While it took a few more years, we are thrilled to tell you we have closed on the purchase of the Evergreen property, along with Jasperson, a nearby 20-acre property. This critical land will continue to provide clean water for spawning salmon, old growth Douglas Fir and western Hemlock, and the abundance of wildlife that call this area home. It is truly a wild place that is safe from future mining and logging, thanks to the help of our passionate supporters.

We are now working hard to transfer these Wild Sky properties to the Forest Service for permanent Wilderness protection. If you would like to help or want to know more about our work, please visit us and tell us what you think!