Tag Archive for: Wilderness

Snowy Little Castle Lake

Protecting Access to Castle Crags Wilderness

July 9, 2019 — Wander through the wooded shores of Castle Lake, scramble across some exposed rock and stroll through alpine meadows and you’ll find yourself on the shores of Heart Lake, taking in stunning views of Mt Shasta.Little Castle Lake nestled in the Castle Crags Wilderness

This three-mile round trip hike is now possible thanks to our purchase this month of the largest remaining private property within the designated Castle Crags Wilderness. The 637-acre property is home to a portion of Castle Lake and all of Little Castle Lake. By purchasing this property, we are protecting the hiking trail to Heart Lake, as well as access to lake activities, fishing and hunting. Our purchase protects the property from logging and development, which would have threatened old growth forest, critical habitat and a major source of clean water for California and the West.

What We’re Saving

This property provides access to a portion of Castle Lake beach, the trail to Heart Lake, all of Little Castle Lake and Mt. Bradley Ridge. It also includes shoreline and the outflow stream from Castle Lake, an area that is loved by residents and visitors. Castle Lake is well-used by summer hikers, swimmers, kayakers and wildflower lovers; in the winter it hosts backcountry skiers and snowboarders, ice skaters and a few hearty folks who drill through the ice to fish.

The Castle Crags iconic rock formation is a world-class climbing destination simply known as “the Crags” and the landscape is sacred to the Wintu Tribe as a source of medicinal plants and place of spiritual guidance.

A 14-mile section of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) winds through the landscape nearby, and protecting this land provides an opportunity to connect to the PCT from Castle Lake in the future. The surrounding wilderness provides critical habitat for Pacific marten, blue ribbon trout, black bears, a growing wolf population and the endemic Castle Crags harebell wildflower.

The Trust will now undertake the multi-year process of transferring it to public ownership through the Shasta-Trinity National Forest to increase recreational access for campers, hikers, lake visitors and hunters. Acquisition of the Little Castle Lake property builds on the Trust’s recent Castle Crags project. In June 2018, the Trust transferred 1,256 acres of the Crags to the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, opening access from the east to trails and world class rock climbing, as well as preserving wildlife habitat and an important water source for California residents.

We are actively fundraising the $365,000 needed to pay off our loan, insure the property and undergo the multi-year process to transfer this land to public ownership within the Shasta-Trinity National Forest.

For more information on this project or our work:

PO BOX 881
HELENA, MT 59624

We’re Applying for Land Trust Accreditation Renewal

June 17, 2019 — The land trust accreditation program recognizes land conservation organizations that meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. The Wilderness Land Trust (WLT) is pleased to announce it is applying for renewal of accreditation in 2019, which occurs every five years. WLT was first accredited in 2008 and completed our first renewal in 2013. A public comment period is now open.

The Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, conducts an extensive review of each applicant’s policies and programs. The Trust’s investment in accreditation demonstrates our implementation of best practices in the field, including commitment to sound finances, ethical conduct, responsible governance and lasting protection for the land we transfer to public ownership.

The Commission invites public input and accepts signed, written comments on pending applications. Comments must relate to how The Wilderness Land Trust complies with national quality standards. These standards address the ethical and technical operation of a land trust.

To learn more about the accreditation program and to submit a comment, visit The Land Trust Accreditation Commission, or email your comment to info@landtrustaccreditation.org. Comments may also be faxed or mailed to the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, Attn: Public Comments: (fax) 518-587-3183; (mail) 36 Phila Street, Suite 2, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866.  

Comments on The Wilderness Land Trust’s application will be most useful by June 21, 2019.



Sally Bowman Joins the Weminuche Wilderness

June 14, 2019 — In 1899 Jerome Morse filed a patent on a 10-acre mining claim in the middle of what is now the Weminuche Wilderness in Colorado, creating the Sally Bowman Mine.

The Animas River also runs through the Sally Bowman property

More than 100 years later and with the help of the La Plata Open Space Conservancy, we acquired that mine from Jerome’s heirs.

Today we are pleased to announce we have returned this 10-acre inholding to the wilderness by transferring it to the U.S. Forest Service

The Sally Bowman Mine is the third Colorado property we’ve transferred to public ownership this month, and the seventh project completed in Colorado’s largest designated wilderness. Our efforts further protect the La Plata River which runs through the property.

Thank you! Your support allows us to continue protecting our country’s wilderness for future generations. Please help us get the word out about our work by sharing this news with your friends and family and sharing our work on Facebook!



Colorado Land Protected for Future Wilderness

May 31, 2019 — The Wilderness Land Trust has just transferred two Colorado properties totaling 80-acres to public ownership within the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forest in Colorado. The land is located near the town of Gunnison, within Colorado’s East Elk Creek, a proposed addition to the West Elk Wilderness Area

A creek winds its way through the proposed West Elk Wilderness addition.

The West Elk Wilderness is home to a host of trails that meander across its many mountain passes. If you’re a determined hiker, you can find lush, secluded valleys lined with trembling aspen that turn a brilliant gold in the fall.

In 2017 we purchased West Elk I, a 40-acre parcel, and in 2018 we purchased West Elk II, an adjacent 40-acre property. They are the last remaining private inholdings within the proposed addition. By transferring this land to the U.S. Forest Service, we have removed all private land issues within the proposed wilderness addition, strengthening the probability that East Elk Creek will become part of the West Elk Wilderness.

Please help us get the word out about our work by sharing this news with your friends and family and sharing our work on Facebook!