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Spring 2012 Edition, Vol. XIV, No. 2

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  • MEMBER NEWSLETTER SPRING 2012 VOL. XIV, NO. 2

    Americas WildernessWWW.WILDERNESS.ORG

    Raise a Glass to Wilderness

    DEAR WILDERNESS SOCIETY SUPPORTER,

    I have long admired the remarkable legacy of wild land conservation The Wilderness Society has given this country. In fact, it stands out as the wellspring of the entire conservation movement. I do believe that what we do together over the next 20 years will set a pattern of protection for centuries to come. The stakes are high, and no organization is more important than The Wilderness Society for completing a system of protected areas in the U.S., for guiding energy development away from wild places, and for strengthening the constituency for protecting the wild, public lands that are the hallmark of our nation. But here is what really motivates meThe Wilderness Society community. I have had the great pleasure of partnering with our staff and many of you, and I have continually been so impressed by this organizations ability to achieve amazing victories, despite the odds, because of our collaborative style, practical approach and relentless focus on results. Of course, none of this would be possible without the generosity of our members and supporters. I come to The Wilderness Society knowing I stand on very tall shoulders. Bill Meadows outstanding 16-year tenure as president has strengthened the entire conservation movement through his collaborative style and leadership. Im inspired by his example and the remarkable opportunities we have ahead. Finally, let me just say, I will make this transition with an ear close to the ground and rely on guidance from our great staff, partners and supporters. I look forward to working with you to protect Americas wildest places and inspiring others to join this important work.

    Sincerely,Jamie WilliamsPresidentThe Wilderness Society

    MEET JAMIE WILLIAMS3 FROM THE FIELD3ANNUAL REPORT HIGHLIGHTS2

    The Wilderness Society is excited to an-nounce our new charitable partner, The Dreaming Tree wines. The organic connection between the two groups stems from a shared commitment to support and protect our wild places, and to promote a conservation-oriented lifestyle. The Dreaming Tree wines portfolio, a collection of sustainably produced wines, is a collaboration between noted wine-maker Steve Reeder and musician Dave Mat-thews, a member of our Governing Council.

    We are very excited about partnering with The Dreaming Tree wines, said Doug Walker, chair of The Wilderness Societys Governing Council. With their generous support, we will work to protect our treasured wildlands.

    The Dreaming Tree wines is committed to helping extend our message of wilderness protection through a year-long retail cam-paign and online virtual forest. The Dreaming Tree virtual forest will give wine consumers and beyond an opportunity to make a dif-ference by joining our team, spreading the word, and taking action through a series of personalized experiential campaigns.

    Visit the virtual forest at dreamingtreewines.com and dont forget to drop by our Eco-Village booth at Dave Matthews Band concerts this summer!

    Chris Burkard

  • www.wilderness.org 1-800-THE-WILD2

    Alan Bauer

    Teanaway Roadless Area, Washington

    TOGETHER WITH YOU, WE ARE BRILLIANT AT WILDERNESSMy happiest memories as a kid were packing into the beautiful high Sierras in California, says actress Betty White, recalling the many summer trips she took with her parents into what later became the SequoiaKings Canyon Wilderness Area. Like Betty, the 500,000 other supporters of The Wilderness Society carry deep emo-tional connections to what Betty calls our soul places. By protecting these places, we remain brilliant at wilderness together.

    WITH PLANNING, THE FUTURE OF SOLAR ENERGY IS LOOKING BRIGHTBlessed with big-sky open spaces and sun-drenched vistas, many of our public lands, especially those in the West, have tremendous solar-energy potential. But if we are to protect critical wildlife habitat, water resources and pristine wilderness, we must limit development on sensi-tive lands. So The Wilderness Societys renewable energy team identifies suitable development zones and makes sure we dont unnecessarily sacrifice wild places on the road to a clean energy future.

    PROTECTING THE PRESIDENTS POWER TO PROTECTWhen President Obama signed a proc-lamation in November 2011 declaring Virginias Fort Monroe a national monu-ment, he joined the ranks of 15 other presi-dents who have used the Antiquities Act to designate dozens of national monuments over the past century. Many Americans want to see more wildlands protected this way, and The Wilderness Society continues to unite these supporters with its National Monuments Campaign.

    A RE-BALANCING ACT IN THE COLORADO WILDSA few years ago, it looked like Colorados Vermillion Basin would be littered with oil and gas rigs. A vast, rugged country of badlands and remote canyons near Dinosaur National Monument, Vermillion is home to rare greater sage-grouse and large herds of elk and mule deer. Ten years of effort to protect it paid off recently, when the Bureau of Land Management released its final manage-ment plan for the region.

    ROADLESS VICTORYMore than a decade of legal challenges to the federal Roadless Rule culminated with a final judgment granting permanent protection to 49 million acres of wild roadless forests. The Roadless Rule was originally approved in 2001 but faced political and legal tests. The Wilderness Society galvanized support for the rule, and took part in the lawsuit defending it.

    GROWING TOMORROWS CONSERVATION LEADERSAmericas wilderness and public lands will always need defenders. The Wilderness Society is helping grow a diverse group of future conservation leaders who will take up the conservation mantle in the 21st century. Learn about how we are en-gaging new constituencies of urban and diverse young people through innovative programs like The San Gabriel Mountains Forever Leadership Academy and Great Outdoors America Week.

    Betty White

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    Are you interested in learning more about The Wilderness Society? Our 2011 annual report, complete with stunning photography of the wild places you love, will take you on a tour of our work and organization. You can find it online at wilderness.org/annual-report.

    Annual Report Highlights

  • SOUTHERN APPALACHIANSLast year, more than 100 volunteers, traditional cross-cut saws in hand, headed into the back-country of five national forests in the southern Appalachians. They spent weeks removing downed trees, restoring trail-tread and collecting data on forest conditions. These volunteer expeditions were the highlight of the first season of Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards (SAWS), a new Wilderness Society program that trains, certifies and leads volunteers in performing labor-intensive trail maintenance and other wilderness stewardship projects. Thanks to the generosity of The Wilderness Societys Presidents Council, SAWS raised enough funds to earn two matching grants from the National Forest Foundation totaling $45,000 and is now recruiting rangers, crew leaders and volunteers for this summer. Bill Hodge: (865) 617-4804 bill_hodge@tws.org

    NORTHERN ROCKIES Senator Max Baucus Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act recently had its day in Congress with a hearing in the Senate Energy and Natural Resource Committee. The Heritage Act would expand Montanas legendary Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex by 67,000 acres and protect 208,000 additional acres of public lands along the Rocky Mountain Front which biologists call some of the top wildlife habitat in America. Montana ranchers and field staff from The Wilderness Societys Montana office made the journey to Washington to testify in support of the bill they helped build from scratch over the last five years. Scott Brennan: (406) 586-1600 ext. 117 scott_brennan@tws.org

    ALASKAThe Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is planning the future of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A), also known as the Western Arctic Reserve. In March, the BLM released a draft environmental impact statement that consid-ers several alternatives for managing the 23.5 million acre reserve, including an option to increase oil and gas development. Of critical concern is the land around Teshekpuk Lake, which provides sanctuary for nesting birds and calving grounds for 60,000 caribou. The Wilderness Society is leading research with federal, local and industry groups to evaluate the potential impacts of drilling and road-building in key wildlife areas. The BLMs final blueprint for the reserve should use this research to sensibly manage development and protect Alaskas wildlife.Nicole Whittington-Evans: (907) 272-9453 nicolewe@tws.org

    1-800-THE-WILD www.wilderness.org 3

    caribou in the western Arctics National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska

    From the Field

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    Meet Jamie WilliamsWilliams comes to The Wilderness Society after 19 years with The Nature Conservancy in Montana and Colorado. His family has moved to Washington D.C. from Boulder, Colo., where Williams served as The Nature Conservancys director of landscape conser-vation for North America.

    In our search for a new president, Jamie Williams was far and away the best can-didate, with a track record of outstanding achievement and a well-earned reputa-tion for succeeding in every endeavor, said Doug Walker, The Wilderness Societys Governing Council chair.

    Williams received a bachelors degree in American studies from Yale University and a masters degree in environmental stud-ies from The Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. He was a western rive