Our Program Areas
This program supports our work on federal legislation to secure wilderness designation for wilderness quality lands, lakes, and rivers in California. It includes on-the-ground work as well as work done at the home office on surveying, GIS mapping, organizing local activists, outreach, media contact, drafting bill language, coordinating stakeholders, meeting with legislative staff, providing guidance on potential obstacles and strategies to overcome them and alerting the public, lawmakers and business communities to the inherent value in wilderness protection, production of fact sheets, policy papers, online and print publications promoting wilderness.
This program supports our work to monitor and respond to changes in management policy, administrative directives, planning, or legislation at federal or state level that impacts wilderness or wilderness quality public lands, lakes and rivers. We use outreach, public education, and constituency building to ensure protection. We also sometimes seek legal remedy in the courts. Currently our work is focused on the following:
- Filed suit to overturn U.S. Forest Service management plans for the Angeles, Cleveland, Los Padres and San Gabriel National Forests. The plans would open more than 80% of these lands to new roads, development and other damaging activities.
- Monitoring and stopping illegal off-road vehicle use on public lands.
- Over turning the 1872 Mining Law and R.S. 2477.
California’s desert region is vast and has enormous wilderness quality lands, rivers and recreation areas. It is one of the state’s fastest growing regions and is ground zero for alternative energy proposals, OHV damage and fragile ecosystems. It is a politically conservative area of the state and actions allowed here can set precedents affecting areas not only in California but across the West. Our work here is to secure federal wilderness designation, build diverse constituencies to protect the desert, and monitor federal and state management, policy and administrative actions affecting current wilderness and wilderness quality lands, lakes and rivers.
This is our program for expanding the public, and other’s awareness of the value of wilderness and to build a statewide constituency of wilderness supporters, involves education, publications, and communications, requests members to take action to explore wilderness in their area, volunteer and promote wilderness protection.
Wild and Scenic Rivers Project
In May of 2011, The California Wilderness Coalition hired Steve Evans as a wild and scenic river consultant to increase CWC’s organizational capacity and expand our base of support. Steve is actively involved in the implementation of regional campaigns promoting more than 413 miles of Wild & Scenic Rivers and thousands of acres of Wilderness in targeted congressional districts. Steve’s work can be categorized in four major components. These include: (1) securing protection for outstanding rivers through policy advocacy and public outreach in targeted legislative campaigns; (2) encouraging federal agencies to study and recommend rivers for federal protection; (3) encouraging federal agencies to develop and implement comprehensive river management plans to ensure protection of designated rivers, and monitoring and responding to activities and projects that may threaten designated and eligible rivers; and (4) providing a solid foundation of information about existing and potential Wild & Scenic Rivers in California to educate the general public, federal and state agency officials, and elected leaders. This includes descriptions of segments and outstanding values, potential classification, maps and photographs, and brief visitor information.
As such, wild and scenic river conservation efforts have been added to our current conservation goals in northern San Diego County, eastern San Gabriel Mountains (Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties), the California Desert (San Bernardino, Inyo, and Riverside Counties), and the southern Los Padres National Forest (eastern Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties) . In addition, we have retained Steve’s expertise to advance additional wild and scenic river efforts in Monterey County.