The Wilderness Land Trust acquires and transfers inholdings to public ownership that complete designated and proposed wilderness areas, or directly protect wilderness values.
Established in 1992, The Wilderness Land Trust is a national, nonprofit conservation organization dedicated to purchasing lands for the federal wilderness system to ensure their preservation.
Our goal is to ensure that America keeps its promise to future generations that America's wilderness will remain forever wild.
With the Wilderness Preservation Act in 1964, Congress established the world's first National Wilderness Preservation System, where "man himself is a visitor who does not remain." But simply drawing lines on a map and declaring it a wilderness area does not necessarily make a wilderness whole. Wilderness areas are often riddled with private ownership. Many such "inholdings" predate the Wilderness Act and are vulnerable to mining, logging, oil and gas drilling and development. The Wilderness Land Trust works to acquire these lands. We then transfer them to federal agencies to be protected as wilderness forever.
By removing these threats not only protect these lands from development, but also the integrity of the surrounding wilderness. Donors make this work possible.
Beyond its inherent beauty, many would say that wilderness defines the American spirit. Wilderness has long inspired American thinking, writing and art. As we face unprecedented global environmental challenges, wilderness is a last refuge for endangered wildlife, a source of clean air and water, and critical to understanding and limiting climate change.
"I tried to do it myself-to get land directly to the Forest Service-but it took five years. [WLT] made it very easy to convey. Once the Forest Service had gotten the land, that made James Peak possible as a Wilderness. It's really fine what the Wilderness Land Trust does."
- Giles Toll
"Transferring this property into public ownership will help ensure conservation of the valuable resources this land has to offer for future generations. Without the hard work and dedication of the Wilderness Trust and its partners, this opportunity to enhance Sheep Mountain Wilderness would not be possible. This is a true legacy opportunity made possible through public/private partnerships."
- Jody Noiron
Forest Supervisor, Angeles National Forest, California
"WLT does important work, but it's largely below the radar screen. They don't seek a lot of attention. They do the job and they do it well. They have a distinct role to play that's not glamorous, but so important. Their job is not only to make new wilderness but to protect the wilderness we have. It's been a great partnership."
- Michael Mantell
President, Resources Legacy Fund Foundation (RLFF)