Who Was Sally Bowman?

4.18.18   She must have made quite an impression in 1899, when Jerome Morse filed a patent on a 10-acre mining claim in the middle of what is now the Weminuche Wilderness in southern Colorado. Just after filing to create the Morse Lode, he filed to create the Sally Bowman Mine right next door. Intriguing!

That history is lost to us, but the property was not. The family passed it down from generation to generation, and in 2017 the heirs donated it to the La Plata Open Space Conservancy (LPOSC). The Conservancy has successfully protected private lands around Durango, Colorado and northern New Mexico for 25 years.

We then partnered with LPOSC to acquire the Sally Bowman Mine, and we are now in the process of transferring it over to public ownership. A successful transfer of this property will be the sixth project completed in Colorado’s largest designated Wilderness and further ensures protection of the La Plata River, which runs through the property.

THANK YOU for your generous support of our mission to Keep the Promise of Wilderness for future generations!

Wilderness Groups Celebrate Public Access to the Sabinoso Wilderness in Special Ceremony

5.29.18   The Wilderness Land Trust joined the National Wildlife Federation, New Mexico Wildlife Federation, New Mexico Wilderness Alliance and other partners to celebrate the now accessible 16,000 acre Sabinoso Wilderness in New Mexico that, until recently, was impossible for the public to access without trespassing on private property.

Thanks to a contribution from the Wyss Foundation, The Wilderness Land Trust purchased the Rimrock Rose, a 4,176 acre property adjacent to the Sabinoso Wilderness that includes the remote and beautiful Canyon Largo, then transferred the land to public ownership by donating it to the Bureau of Land Management so that it may be added to the Sabinoso Wilderness area to create public access.

Today’s ceremony was held at the Petroglyph National Monument Visitors Center to honor US Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich of New Mexico for their leadership and collaboration with the Secretary of the Interior to successfully open the Sabinoso Wilderness to the public.

“We’ve been working on creating access to the Sabinoso Wilderness since it was designated in 2009,” said Brad Borst, President of The Wilderness Land Trust. “We are deeply grateful to the Wyss Foundation for funding the acquisition and transfer of the heart of the Rimrock Rose Ranch to the Bureau of Land Management; to US Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich of New Mexico for their leadership and perseverance; for the support of the San Miguel County Commissioners; for the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance volunteers for helping with site cleanup; and for the sportsmen groups who publicly advocated for this New Mexico treasure.”

The Sabinoso Wilderness, created by Congress in 2009, is a rugged backcountry area east of Las Vegas, New Mexico, that is home to mule deer, bobcats, gray foxes and a wide range of plant and animal species that are home to the high plains.  The headwaters of the Canadian River runs through the Rimrock Rose property and the Canyon Largo, then on past the designated wilderness. Canyon Largo was a well-traveled route used by cavalry traveling from Fort Union to Fort Bascom in the 19thcentury, and by native people for centuries before patented as private land a hundred years ago.


About the Wyss Foundation

Founded in 1998, the Wyss Foundation has long supported locally-led efforts to conserve public lands in the American West for everyone to experience and explore. The Foundation’s philanthropy has helped conserve and restore public lands from the Crown of the Continent in Montana and the Hoback Basin in Wyoming to the coastline of California and the rivers of Maine.

About The Wilderness Land Trust

The Wilderness Land Trust is a small, highly specialized nonprofit organization established to buy and protect wilderness land. Since founded in 1992, the Trust has preserved 450 parcels comprising nearly 49,000 acres of wilderness inholdings in 104 designated and proposed wilderness areas across 10 states. The Wilderness Land Trust, a 501(c)(3) organization, has offices in California and Colorado.

Wild West Elk

5.2.2018   Another success! We just finalized the purchase of 40 additional acres of private land adjacent to the West Elk Wilderness area in Colorado. Add this to the 40 adjacent acres we already own, and we are now ready to transfer the only remaining private land within the proposed East Elk Creek addition to the designated West Elk Wilderness. Now the work begins in transferring the land. We couldn’t have done this without our supporters and fellow wilderness lovers. Thank you!

Reid Haughey, Intermountain Program Director and project lead, recently spent a full day bushwhacking and assessing the property before purchase to ensure a successful acquisition. The trip was scheduled around sage grouse lekking closures and we’re happy to tell you that our project will successfully unify sage grouse habitat.

THANK YOU for your generous support of our mission to Keep the Promise of Wilderness for future generations!