“To be whole. To be complete. Wildness reminds us what it means to be human, what we are connected to rather than what we are separate from.” — Terry Tempest Williams


The National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance exists to bring together the wilderness stewardship community into a growing network of volunteer-based non-profit organizations that provide stewardship for America's enduring resource of wilderness. Read More


What's Happening -

2023 Wilderness Stewardship Performance Grants Awarded

Twenty-five projects funded on National Forests across the nation


The National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance 2023 Wilderness Stewardship Performance (WSP) Funding Program, offered in partnership with the USDA Forest Service, awarded $810,190 to 25 Wilderness Stewardship Performance projects in designated wilderness areas across the nation. This funding enables non-profit partner organizations and volunteer stewards to assist their Forest Service partners in completing a variety of wilderness stewardship tasks including educating wilderness users, monitoring opportunities for solitude, and inventory and control of invasive species.

The slate of projects selected this year will support Wilderness Stewardship Performance score increases in 69 wilderness areas spanning 20 U.S. states all Forest Service regions. In addition to completing necessary wilderness work, non-profit partners will engage approximately 2,000 volunteers in 40,418 hours of wilderness stewardship activities, leveraging federal dollars with $1,560,720 in cash and in-kind support at a ratio of almost 2:1.

“The National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance is proud to work with the USDA Forest Service to support our non-profit partners in wilderness stewardship work across the nation.” said Joelle Marier, Executive Director of National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance. “With local expertise, these member organizations connect thousands of volunteers and others with Wilderness while leveraging their extensive networks to increase the impact of Federal dollars on wilderness stewardship. Their passion and effort are essential to maintaining an enduring Wilderness resource.”

The Wilderness Stewardship Performance grant program is a partnership between the National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance and the USDA Forest Service. Grants support non-profit organizations conducting wilderness stewardship activities that contribute to improvement of Forest Service Wilderness Stewardship Performance scores for designated wilderness areas. Wilderness Stewardship Performance is a suite of activities the Forest Service uses to measure their wilderness stewardship accomplishments and inform ongoing wilderness management. Congratulations to the wilderness stewardship groups that received awards this year! See which groups won awards and learn more about our Wilderness Stewardship Performance funding program HERE.

Meet our new Executive Director



Hello NWSA Community!

First I’d like to say how honored and happy I am to be following the impressive tenure of Randy Welsh as I join NWSA and this stewardship community as NWSAs next Executive Director. I look forward to connecting with all of you in the coming months as we work together to steward our Wilderness resource and engage new partners in our community. Our Chair, Randy Rasmussen, did a great job of outlining my qualifications in his announcement, so I won’t repeat too many more of those details, but I would like to share some of the things that drive me to do this work.

Professionally, I have worn a variety of hats in the land conservation sphere with Wilderness being central to many of my roles. Having had the privilege to work for or directly with all of the Federal land management agencies in addition to many NGOs, private partners, and others I feel we all have an important niche to occupy when it comes to Wilderness. The work we each do ties directly to the work we all do, whether in stewardship, advocacy, management, or education. I hope to carry this perspective through all of my work with NWSA.

Personally, wilderness (both big and little “w”) is where I recharge, find adventure and challenge, and tap into the things I find most important in life. The wild feeds my soul and drives me to strive for a present and, more importantly, a future where the wild and wild things endure. Sharing this passion with others energizes me and stewardship is integral to facilitating these connections. With new and old challenges on the horizon for Wilderness, NWSAs work is more important than ever to keep wilderness wild, accessible, and relevant amidst an ever-changing population. Continuing in the well laid footsteps of Randy Welsh, I am excited to work with all of you in building a positive future for the Wild.

Please feel free to reach out to me at [email protected] to say hello – I’d love to hear from you! If you’d like more specific information about me and my background, visit our website to check out my bio HERE.

For all things Wild,

Joelle Marier, Executive Director

NWSA Has a NEW Mailing Address!


National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance

PO Box 185

Del Norte, CO 81132



NWSA's 2023 Webinar Series is taking a summer break. Webinars will resume this fall - Stay Tuned! In the meantime, watch past webinars HERE

NWSA BOARD Completes new Strategic Plan Visioning


During 2022 the NWSA Board has been busy updating our guiding documents and creating a new strategic plan for NWSA.  You can read about the new Strategic Vision here.  We hope you will take the time to familiarize yourself with it and then join us in its implementation.  Our overriding mission is still to promote and encourage volunteer stewardship in all wilderness areas as well as ensure there is a stewardship group available for all units of the National Wilderness Preservation System.  Look for more exciting news in the days ahead.

National Wilderness Stewardship Awards - Nominations closed till Fall 2023


2022 National Stewardship Awards will be announced at the National Wilderness Workshop, on Wednesday April 19th.

Check out all the details on our Awards Page.

Wilderness Stewardship Advocacy Series


NWSA sponsored a 4 month webinar series that will assist wilderness stewardship groups in their wilderness stewardship advocacy efforts locally and nationally.  Starting with an Introduction to Wilderness Stewardship Advocacy, experts from the world of stewardship advocacy will share their experience, tips, and practical techniques for you to apply.  The series is now complete and can be viewed below.
Introduction to Wilderness Stewardship Advocacy
Wilderness Stewardship Advocacy 101
Wilderness Stewardship Advocacy 201
The ASK - Developing Your Requests Workshop
For complete information about the Wilderness Stewardship Advocacy Webinar Series  CLICK HERE




The National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance Fund is dedicated to the support and help of new wilderness stewardship groups.

To read more about this new Fund to support wilderness stewardship CLICK HERE



October - December is the Time to JOIN or RENEW your NWSA Membership.  Don't miss out on NWSA Funding Programs for 2023.

Remember to renew your NWSA Membership for 2023.  Click here for details.

It is now time to renew membership in NWSA for the 2023 Fiscal Year.  We are changing our membership year to match the Calendar Year which better aligns with the National Wilderness Workshop and other membership programs.   Participate in webinars, apply for funding programs, get discounts at workshops and conferences.  Be kept advised of news and events affecting the wilderness stewardship community.  Join the community today!

In 2023, only Member Organizations will be able to apply for WSP Funding programs.


Have you read our latest Newsletter?  Click to Download the Newsletter

  • From the blog

    Member Profile

    Your Profile HERE.

    We are trying a new addition to our home page with periodic member profiles.  This month:  Poudre Wilderness Volunteers

    Poudre Wilderness Volunteers help protect four designated wilderness areas — Rawah, Comanche Peak, Neota, and Cache la Poudre — and many multi-use wild areas along the northern end of the Colorado Front Range.  We patrol primarily on the watersheds of the Cache la Poudre (Wild and Scenic) River and the Big Thompson River, extending a protected region from the northern edge of Rocky Mountain National Park nearly to the Wyoming border.


    Read more

    Heart of the Gila

    NWSA plans to use this space to profile many of the wilderness stewardship groups around the country.  This month we start with Heart of the Gila.

    Read more