American Wildlands

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American Wildlands

American Wildlands (AWL) is a nonprofit wildland resource conservation and education organization founded in 1977. AWL is dedicated to protecting and promoting proper management of America's publicly owned wild areas and to securing wilderness designation for public land areas. The organization has played a key role in gaining legal protection for many wilderness and river areas in the U.S. interior west and in Alaska.

Founded as the American Wilderness Alliance, AWL is involved in a wide range of wilderness resource issues and programs including timber management policy reform, habitat corridors, rangeland management policy reform, riparian and wetlands restoration, and public land management policy reform. AWL promotes ecologically sustainable uses of public wildlands resources including forests, wilderness, wildlife , fisheries, and rivers. It pursues this mission through grassroots activism, technical support, public education, litigation, and political advocacy.

AWL maintains three offices: the central Rockies office in Lakewood, Colorado; the northern Rockies office in Bozeman, Montana; and the Sierra-Nevada office in Reno, Nevada. The organization's annual budget of $350,000 has been stable for many years, but with programs that are now being considered for addition to its agenda, that figure is expected to increase over the next few years.

The Central Rockies office in Bozeman considers its main concern timber management reform. It has launched the Timber Management Reform Policy Program, which monitors the U.S. Forest Service and works toward a better management of public forests. Since initiation of the program in 1986, the program includes resource specialists, a wildlife biologist, forester, water specialist, and an aquatic biologist who all report to an advisory council. A major victory of this program was stopping the sale of 4.2 million board feet (1.3 million m) of timber near the Electric Peak Wilderness Area.

Other programs coordinated by the Central Rockies office include: 1) Corridors of Life Program which identifies and maps wildlife corridors, land areas essential to the genetic interchange of wildlife that connect roadless lands or other wildlife habitat areas. Areas targeted are in the interior West, such as Montana, North and South Dakota, Wyoming, and Idaho; 2) The Rangeland Management Policy Reform Program monitors grazing allotments and files appeals as warranted. An education component teaches citizens to monitor grazing allotments and to use the appeals process within the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management ; 3) The Recreation-Conservation Connection, through newsletters and travel-adventure programs, teaches the public how to enjoy the outdoors without destroying nature . Six hundred travelers have participated in ecotourism trips through AWL.

AWL is also active internationally. The AWL/Leakey Fund has aided Dr. Richard Leakey's wildlife habitat conservation and elephant poaching elimination efforts in Kenya. A partnership with the Island Foundation has helped fund wildlands and river protection efforts in Patagonia, Argentina. AWL also is an active member of Canada's Tatshenshini International Coalition to protect that river and its 2.3 million acres (930,780 ha) of wilderness.

[Linda Rehkopf ]



American Wildlands, 40 East Main #2, Bozeman, MT USA 59715 (406) 586-8175, Fax: (406) 586-8242, Email: [email protected], <>

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American Wildlands

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