Introducing our newest staff member Margosia Jadkowski

Silver Creek

Jumbo Lode Acquisition | Protecting Silver Creek

Boots on the Ground: California

Project Updates

Boots on the Ground: Alaska

Boots on the Ground: A Site Visit Series

The Trust is fortunate to share frequent stories of success with you. One critical component of our work leading up to the success is visiting each property in person. As part of our due diligence during the acquisition and transfer phases, we join with our partners to meet landowners, inspect property conditions, validate property boundaries, create a plan for any stewardship needs and experience the wilderness character for ourselves. These trips often require logistical planning and backcountry travel, but are one of the most fulfilling duties of our work. We invite you into the wilderness with us on our last site visit.


Date: July 12, 2022

Location: Wheeler Creek Property, Kootznoowoo Wilderness, AK

Staff: Aimee Rutledge and Kelly Conde

Theme: Boating, Bushwacking, Boundaries and Buddies

The field day started at the US Forest Service office in Juneau, AK donning waders and XtraTuff rubber boots. The Tongass National Forest is the largest intact temperate rainforest on the planet.  So while the property we were planning to visit was well above the water line, walking through the brush can leave you just as wet as walking through a stream. Every site visit includes some bushwhacking to find property corners and boundary lines and in Alaska, that means hiking in waders.

We spent this day with our important project partners — the US Forest Service lands, recreation and realty staff from the Tongass National Forest, the Southeast Alaska Land Trust (SEALT) and one of the willing landowner who helped us by providing his firsthand knowledge of the land.

WLT, USFS and SEALT getting ready to depart for Admiralty Island, Wheeler Creek.

The property is located south of Juneau, Alaska, on Admiralty Island, the Kootznoowoo Wilderness (“Fortress of the Bears” in Lingít) is aptly named, as Admiralty Island is said to have the world’s highest concentration of brown bears in the world – an estimated 1,600 bears. This is more than one bear per square mile of the island. While sea life was abundant, there were sadly no bear sightings for us on this trip, although the landowner mentioned seeing a mother and cub just before our visit and USFS staff noted that bears frequently come down to Wheeler Creek!

To get there, we departed Juneau by boat with USFS staff at the helm and whizzed through Chatham Strait on the west side of Admiralty Island National Monument next to the humpback whales, Dall’s porpoises and pink salmon that call it home. After careful maneuvering at the right tide, two of us “sounding” for depth and debris, we anchored at the mouth of Wheeler Creek.

WLT and SEALT “sounding” to check depth and for debris heading into anchorage at mouth of Wheeler Creek.

Watching for Alaskan brown bears, we boated up the creek to our recently purchased property in the Kootznoowoo Wilderness.

We scouted through the thick rainforest and ravenous mosquitos for property boundaries with USFS and SEALT, and got acquainted with adjacent long-time property owners for a potential next purchase.

USFS, SEALT and WLT bushwhacking for property boundaries

The end of our day brought us near a humpback whale. We paused the boat to listen to the whale’s breath swishing from its blowhole, reminding of why our work is so important.

Whale Video

The urgency to protect the biodiversity of this most wild of places in the face of climate change becomes clear with a view of the drastically reduced Mendenhall Glacier, the backdrop to Auke Bay/Juneau.

We wish you great adventures in wild places this summer and we thank you for your continued support of our work.

From the Wild,

Aimee Rutledge and Kelly Conde

2022 Spring Newsletter – Celebrating Three Decades of Protecting Wilderness

July 2022-

Happy 30th birthday. Close your eyes and make a wish.

If you dream of landscapes where wildlife are free to roam, rivers and streams run cold and clear, and the opportunity for solitude amongst breathtaking beauty abounds, The Wilderness Land Trust can help make those dreams come true.

It’s been 30 years since The Wilderness Land Trust was established to counter the threat of commercial, residential and private development in the heart of our nation’s wildest places. During this time, our projects have expanded in scope and scale, initially focused on wilderness areas near Aspen, Colorado and now stretching from Alaska to Arizona.

Today, we have permanently protected more than 55,000 acres and placed 522 parcels of formerly private land into public ownership—a positive impact on more than 17 million acres of federally designated wilderness across the American west.

Please enjoy details of our latest projects and partnerships in our Spring Newsletter. It features a special 30th anniversary insert that takes you on a joyful journey on some of the places we have protected together.

We remain most grateful for the opportunity to partner with you—our generous donors, landowners, agency staff and project partners—to make a meaningful difference in the world and preserve its unique beauty and biodiversity for future generations.

Please feel free to share this newsletter with family, friends or colleagues you think may be interested in supporting our good work. We welcome their involvement and thank you for your help and generosity in spreading the word.

Beyond the Ghost Town Lies a Stranger Lode

June 30, 2022 – The Holy Cross Wilderness of Colorado is one of miles of trails and stunning beauty. It sits between the Vail Pass and Thompson Divide wildlife corridors and allows everything from elk to Canada lynx to pass through unencumbered. This wilderness area is also riddled with private land that threaten that passage. The Wilderness Land Trust recently ramped up our efforts to remove these threats and as a result, in the last year we have acquired five parcels in the Holy Cross Wilderness.

The Stranger Lode property is our latest acquisition and is located along the shores of Cleveland Lake just inside the southeast side of the wilderness area boundary. The hike to Cleveland Lake is short and steep. It follows a road that was build in 1883 to support the mining town of Holy Cross City. Today, the road is a well-known world class 4×4 excursion. On the weekends, it is crowded with those with the skills and will to drive up to what is now the ghost town of Holy Cross City.

Just a mile above the ghost town and within the wilderness is Cleveland Lake and the Stranger Lode property. Where Holy Cross City provides a destination for extreme motorists, the lake provides solitude and serenity for hikers.

Though the Stranger Lode parcel is small at only 9 acres, it posed a big threat. The property is flat and scenic and close enough to the wilderness border and a road to increase the likelihood of cabin development.

With the threat removed, The Wilderness Land Trust is turning our focus to transferring the over 50 acres of land that we now own in the Holy Cross Wilderness to public ownership. It is because of you, our supporters, that our work continues and areas like the Holy Cross Wilderness move, piece by piece, towards a truly protected place. We thank you!

A creek winds between forested hillsides

WLT Protects Cabin Sites From Development in Southeast Alaska’s Chuck River and Kootznoowoo Wilderness Areas

June 16, 2022 – The Wilderness Land Trust partnered with the Southeast Alaska Land Trust (SEALT) to acquire two inholdings: the Wheeler Creek 5 and Chuck River Bend properties, in order to protect their watersheds and the salmon, brown bear, and Sitka black-tailed deer that call them home. When our transfer of this land to the U.S. Forest Service is complete, a total of 33 acres of new wild lands will be added to the Tongass National Forest and permanently protected from private development.

Located south of Juneau, Alaska, on Admiralty Island, the Kootznoowoo Wilderness (“Fortress of the Bears” in Lingít) is aptly named, as Admiralty Island is said to have the world’s highest concentration of brown bears in the world – an estimated 1,600 bears. This is more than 1 bear per square mile of the island. The Chuck River Wilderness is also south of Juneau but on the mainland, and is bordered by the Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness. The Chuck River is a major producer of several species of salmon, but especially pink salmon. Both wilderness areas are located within the Tongass National Forest, the largest national forest in the United States, and the largest intact temperate rainforest on the planet. The Tongass has sometimes been referred to as America’s Climate Forest, for its unmatched ability to mitigate climate change. It remains one of the most important forests in the world.

Despite its remoteness, residents and visitors can access these wilderness areas by boat or float plane, and often do. In fact, remoteness is often the draw for many people who end up building private cabins in such areas. Preserving the ecological integrity, size, and connectivity of these wilderness areas serves to provide a high level of resilience in the face of climate change, establishes secure habitat for native wildlife, and ensures the economic benefits of recreation and tourism for both residents and visitors of Southeast Alaska.

The Wilderness Land Trust, in partnership with the Southeast Alaska Land Trust, has now completed three projects in Southeast Alaska, including conserving the largest remaining inholding in the Chuck River Wilderness.

A heartfelt thanks to all our supporters and our partners – Southeast Alaska Land Trust and private donors – for making these acquisitions successful.


Another Win for Wilderness on the Snake River

June 2, 2022 – The Wilderness Land Trust recently worked with the US Forest Service (USFS) to add 82 acres to Oregon’s Hells Canyon Wilderness Area. The private parcel, which is on a scenic bench above the Snake River and has the Reservoir Bench Trail running through it, is in the heart of the wilderness area and threatened the public access to the trail and the ecological integrity of the area.

This project was unique in the fact that the Trust acquired and transferred the property on the same day. The USFS had been working directly with the landowners, Idaho Power, and already had the due diligence completed and funding lined up to acquire the property. The two parties, both informed by their own bureaucratic process, came to a stalemate over legal documents and the Trust was called to step in as a third party.

The Wilderness Land Trust is designed to be nimble and to take on risk if the end goal is to create a stronger, more unified wilderness. We were created that way for this exact situation. The Trust was able to step in with the flexibility to get the deal done. Now, the Hells Canyon Wilderness is one step closer to being whole.

As we continue to celebrate 30 years of accomplishments, this project proved that these accomplishments are ever-building. The more we complete in a professional, efficient manner, the more we’re able to do. We are forever grateful to be called upon by our strong federal partners to do the work of keeping the promise of wilderness. And we are forever grateful to you, our supporters, for ensuring that we’re around to receive that call.

Join Our Team!

Employment Opportunity: Director of Marketing and Communications
Position Location: Western United States
Supervisor: President
Work Schedule: .75 FTE
Salary: $65,000 – $70,000 DOE

Benefits Offered by The Wilderness Land Trust
The Wilderness Land Trust offers a competitive benefits package including health, dental, and vision insurance, 401k plan, three weeks annual paid vacation, work from home or office schedule, and professional development opportunities.

Organizational Mission
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. Celebrating 30 years of protecting our nation’s treasured wilderness in 2022, The Wilderness Land Trust is the only national conservation organization solely dedicated to purchasing privately owned lands within federally designated wilderness and transferring them into public ownership to ensure the promise of wilderness for future generations. For more information go to:

Summary of Position
The Director of Marketing and Communications is a member of The Wilderness Land Trust’s core management team, and reports to and is supervised by the President. Primary responsibilities include the development and implementation of a comprehensive, organization-wide, and strategic approach to marketing, communications and public relations with the goal of connecting with and engaging constituents to act on behalf of The Wilderness Land Trust. The position primarily serves to strategically plan and execute a marketing and communications program to achieve specific outcomes; and that is integrated with land acquisition and fundraising efforts. The position works with board and staff to contribute specific expertise to build a constituent-centered approach and marketing mindset to reach, engage and include target markets. Time commitment is 30 hours per week or equivalent to .75 FTE.

Ideal Candidate
The ideal candidate must have exceptional interpersonal skills, at least 4-5 years’ experience in marketing, communications, public relations or related experience, be very detail-oriented, a proven ability to travel and work alone managing marketing and communications activities in order to meet hard deadlines, a passion for wilderness conservation, a good sense of humor and enjoy working in a small, complex, non-profit environment

Essential Duties
• Lead strategist for all marketing and communications.
• Creates and implements strategic marketing, public relations and communications plans with specific strategies designed for target markets, partners and the public to meet specific measurable goals and outcomes.
• Conducts research to identify and describe target markets to determine which outreach tools or strategies will be most effective.
• Designs, implements and evaluates direct contact, engagement opportunities and other marketing strategies designed for target markets to achieve organizational goals.
• Designs and maintains current organizational written materials, website and social media platforms to promote The Wilderness Land Trust and permanent protection of federally designated wilderness.
• Consistently updates and analyzes the Trust’s social media and web presence, ensuring consistency with organizational core values, branding, voice and messaging for a positive, ubiquitous connection and engagement of core audience.
• Writes and places articles about wilderness values, threats and the unique role of the Trust’s Lands Program to counter those threats in partner organization newsletters, local and national publications.
• Contributes articles, blogs, posts, videos and presentations about wilderness values and the unique role of the Trust to heighten awareness and support of federally designated wilderness and to inspire people to seek The Wilderness Land Trust website for further content and information.
• Establishment and execution of a communications editorial calendar. This includes identifying content sources, developing and maintaining a content library and developing an organizational content approval process.
• Create and execute an internal communications guide to help Board members talk about the work of The Wilderness land Trust so more people connect with and support the organization.
• Provide editorial assistance for other departmental external communications as necessary.
• Manages and builds internal photo and video database to capture project, partner, human interest and environmental material to draft and promote compelling stories of the Trust’s work.

General Duties
• Manages operational expenses consistent with the current budget and budget resolutions.
• Manages and negotiates contracts for goods and services acquired, as they relate to the Marketing and Communications program needs.
• Keeps budgetary, financial and project records in a systematic manner using Trust protocols.
• Conducts business in a professional and business-like manner, consistent with the Standards and Practices promulgated by the Land Trust Alliance.
• Collaborates with staff on special events, Board meetings, site visits and program activities.
• Manages consultants and contractors as needed to achieve program goals.
• Furthers the goals and mission of the organization.
• Communicates fully with other staff and Board Members.
• Represents the Trust in a professional manner at meetings, gatherings and in social settings.

Job Qualifications
• Bachelors’ degree in digital media, marketing, communications or related field.
• Must have at least 4 – 5 years marketing, communications, public relations or related experience.
• Excellent verbal and written communication skills, with ability to convey complex issues in a clear,     thorough and timely manner using appropriate and effective communication tools and techniques.
• Ability to create and implement strategic marketing plans to achieve results in a timely manner.
• Ability to track and analyze multi-media results on a regular basis.
• Computer literate, proficient with and knowledgeable about social media, Microsoft software applications, Adobe Photoshop, database software and other online project management tools and resources.
• Highly motivated to work both independently and as part of a small team of five employees, with ability to establish and maintain positive working relationships both internally and externally.
• Ability to set priorities, develop a work schedule, monitor progress towards goals and track details, data, information and activities.
• Demonstrated commitment to business practices aligned with the values of the Trust and environmental issues, specifically wilderness preservation.
• Honors principles of justice, diversity, equity and inclusion.

Physical/Other Requirements
• Extensive travel, as needed.
• Occasional weekend and evening work, as needed.
• Work location requires reliable internet, cell phone service and convenient to a commercially served airport.

The Wilderness Land Trust is an equal opportunity employer who strives to increase access to opportunity, equity, inclusion and justice in all elements of our hiring processes and work. We recruit, employ, train, compensate and promote regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation, ability, age, race, sex, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, past, current or prospective service in the uniformed services, or any other characteristic protected under federal, state or local law.

Please submit a cover letter, resume and a sample of a strategic marketing and communications plan you created and managed to:

Applications will be accepted until June 30, 2022. The position begins August 1, 2022.

Marketing and Communications Position Description PDF