National Wilderness Stewardship Awards Program

Now Accepting Nominations for the National Wilderness Stewardship Awards, through February 28, 2023.

Download Application Materials

Submit a Nomination - Use Survey Monkey application form to submit a nomination

The National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance, in partnership with the Society of Wilderness Stewardship, is pleased to sponsor the National Wilderness Stewardship Awards.

The wilderness stewardship community is filled with ordinary people doing extraordinary work in some of America’s most amazing and remote landscapes.  Unfortunately, their work often goes unnoticed, leaving Wilderness to suffer as a result.  By showing people their work is important now, we can build a more sustainable wilderness stewardship community for the future.

This awards program will allow organizations and partners to nominate a steward, organization, or Federal land agency whom they feel has demonstrated outstanding ability in the following categories:

Nominations will be accepted from January 1 - February 28th, with the awards being presented at the National Wilderness Workshop this April in Missoula Montana.

Additional information about these awards, including application materials, may be found on the NWSA website at

Questions about the awards program may be addressed to Randy Welsh, Executive Director, NWSA at [email protected] or by calling 801-808-2167.

Awards were not given in 2022 pending NWW in April 2023

2021 Award Winners

Wilderness Rising Leader

  • Jessi Mejia, Glacier National Park and University of Montana Wilderness Institute
  • Amber Wong, Coconino National Forest
  • Sarah Rodriquez, Kaibab National Forest

Wilderness Stewardship Champion of the Year

  • Alan Rockwood, Friends of Mt. Evans and Lost Creek Wilderness
  • Jack Hanley, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance

Agency Partner of the Year

  • Andy Smith, San Bernardino National Forest, R5, Forest Service

Read about each Awardee and Narratives

2020 Award Winners

Individual Champions of Wilderness Stewardship

  • Fred Allen - Poudre Wilderness Volunteers
  • Nora Richter - Friends of Nevada Wilderness
  • Steve Young - Friends of Mt Evans and Lost Creek Wilderness

Wilderness Stewardship Organization of the Year

  • Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards

Rising Leader of Wilderness Stewardship

  • Jesse Furr - New Mexico Wild

Agency Partner of the Year

  • Beth Boyst - PCTA Trail Administrator, Southwest Region, Forest Service

Read about each Awardee and Narratives

View the Award Ceremony Powerpoint