2016 turned out to be a very good year for NWSA and the wilderness stewardship community. Read more here...
The National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance had an amazing 2016. Thanks to your support and involvement, we have expanded our services and offerings to wilderness stewardship groups. Here’s a recap of the year:
- We established a “Boots on the Ground” grant program to support wilderness stewardship that accomplished tangible projects in wilderness. Originating from the generous gifts of a private source, we were able to leverage additional money from the Forest Service to offer over $20,000 in grants.
- The Forest Service allocated $220,000 dollars to NWSA in a Challenge Cost Share Agreement to manage the Wilderness Stewardship Performance (WSP) Grant program. Sixteen organizations were awarded $180,000 for work during the summer of 2016, and an additional nine groups received $30,000 for work this winter. These grants will significantly aid WSP scoring on selected wilderness areas around the country.
- The Forest Service plans to continue funding the WSP grant program in 2017! This opportunity is only available to NWSA partner organizations, a major benefit as a member of NWSA. Check our website in January for application details for the 2017 WSP Grant Program.
- NWSA has also been busy supporting efforts to make wilderness stewardship easier for volunteer groups. We had a major role in suggesting, commenting on, and advising final details of the new Forest Service Saw Policy. The new policy will create a certification program for cross cut and chainsaw use that will span Districts, Forests, and Regions. It also recognizes volunteer group offered training for certification. NWSA will continue to monitor implementation of this important policy to ensure it is applied uniformly across the country.
- We updated our website www.wildernessalliance.org to bring you fresh information, blog posts of interest to the wilderness stewardship community, and our robust suite of volunteer toolkits. Current job postings are also available. Consider adding your job opportunities to the site for a broad outreach.
- Finally, NWSA continued as a co-host of the National Wilderness Workshop, the key annual event to bring the wilderness community together. Help in Missoula in November, this gathering solidified the partnership amongst volunteer groups, the Forest Service and other agencies toward accomplishment of the Vision 2020 Implementation Plan for wilderness.
We thank you for your past support of NWSA, and we look forward to continuing to represent your volunteer issues, marshalling resources to support wilderness work, and being a leader in building our wilderness community. If you have not yet renewed your individual or partner organization membership for 2017, you may do so conveniently on our website at www.wildernessalliance.org/donate. And if you just wanted to support wilderness stewardship through NWSA you can donate using the same link.
Our best to you this Holiday Season, and through the coming new year. Together, let’s keep Wilderness Wild!
National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance