About the CWC
With towering redwood forests, pristine mountain peaks, and rugged desert landscapes, the wild lands of California encompass some of the most beautiful and diverse places on earth. These are refuges where eagles still soar across the horizon and salmon still swim from ocean to river—lands where nature thrives and the human spirit is free.
President Obama Proclaims September as National Wilderness Month
For centuries, America's dramatic landscapes have attracted people from around the world to begin new lives and develop thriving communities on our lands. Today, our wilderness areas reflect an essential part of our national character, and as a people, we are immeasurably richer for their presence. Protected wilderness areas are recreational escapes for families, natural classrooms for students, living laboratories for scientists, irreplaceable retreats for sportsmen and women, and historical treasures for the American people. These landscapes provide clean air, clean water, and essential habitats for fish and wildlife, and they serve as critical storehouses of biodiversity. From mountains and meadows to river valleys and forests, our lands and waters also help drive local economies by creating jobs in tourism and recreation. Our open spaces are more precious today than ever before, and it is essential that we come together to protect them for the next generation.
American conservation practices inspired countries around the world during the 20th century, and my Administration is working to carry that legacy forward during the 21st. In my first months as President, I was proud to sign a public lands bill that designated more than 2 million acres of wilderness, over 1,000 miles of wild and scenic rivers, and three National Parks. We also launched the America's Great Outdoors Initiative, which laid the foundation for a comprehensive, community driven conservation strategy that continues to engage Americans in protecting and increasing access to our natural heritage. Today, projects spanning from the Atlantic to the Pacific are helping create and enhance parks, renew and restore our rivers, and conserve our iconic open spaces.
Towards Painted Rock, Craig Deutsche
Generations of visionary leaders and communities have given of themselves to preserve our wild landscapes, fulfilling a responsibility that falls to us all as Americans and as inhabitants of this small planet. During National Wilderness Month, let us celebrate the progress we have made toward meeting that essential challenge, and let us recommit to protecting the land we love for centuries to come.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim September 2012 as National Wilderness Month. I invite all Americans to visit and enjoy our wilderness areas, to learn about their vast history, and to aid in the protection of our precious national treasures.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty first day of August, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.
Late afternoon over Soda Lake, Craig Deutsche
We reached our $75,000 match goal!
Beauty Mountain, San Diego, Steve Evans
We DID it! We reached our matching grant goal of $75,000. Thank you to all of our members, foundation donors, board and staff for your support and generosity. With your dedication, support and commitment, we were able to raise $75,000 in matching grant funds. Every dollar raised was matched 1:1, thank you for maximizing the gift of our anonymous donor.
Caifornia Desert Clean-Up, Laurel Williams
With your generosity, we were able to work with dozens of local groups, volunteers, businesses, college students and community organizations to lobby in Washington D.C., remove invasive plants and fix eroding trails in the Los Padres National Forest, develop 100 new conservation partnerships and letters of support for the Northern San Diego Wild Heritage Campaign (Aqua Tibia Beauty Mountain Act 2012), California Desert Protection Act, and the San Gabriel Mountain’s Forever Campaigns, connect over 90+ stewards to their public lands, develop compelling legal arguments for the proper management of the Lake Tahoe Basin, BLM lands in the Southern Sierra, and BLM lands in San Diego County, and conduct 25 potential wilderness surveys, and introduce new wilderness legislation in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties.
As 2013 rapidly approaches, we will continue our fight to preserve California’s wild places and rivers. We are excited for new and unprecedented opportunities. Since 1850, the vast majority of CA’s public lands have been included in congressional districts (CD) represented by those who favor heavy development. As a result of redistricting, in 2013 over 743,000 acres (1,160 square-miles) of potential new wilderness areas and 956 miles of potential new Wild and scenic rivers will be placed in the newly-created Congressional Districts with the prognosticators predicting that these areas will be represented by environmentalists.
We intend to utilize the matching grant funds to continue to build a more diverse funding base, to increase our political clout and to develop additional grassroots communities in California.
We look forward to sharing our conservation successes with you, as we continue to advance wilderness campaigns that will protect over 1.6 million acres of public lands in California.
Redwood Coast, CWC Archive
Wild Photo Contest
The only thing we enjoy more than actually visiting California's wild places, is to see great photos of them! We at the CWC just love it when our members share their photos and adventures with us. A huge thank you for the amazing photograph entries which made it difficult to choose a winner.
THE WINNERS ARE.....
Fish Canyon Roadless Area, Angeles National Forest
Photo by Dianne Erskine-Hellrigel
Alamere Falls, Point Reyes National Seashore
Photo by Alan Grinberg
Mule deer fawn kiss, Yosemite National Park
Photo by Mark Z.
Congrats to the winners! These photos highlight just a few of the incredible landscapes and animals in California. These photos are a great reminder of what is at stake as we continue our work to protect wild California.
Join us for a celebration of films that will change our world
To learn more about the films or purchase tickets, click here.
CWC Featured In PBS Series, "This American Land"
The California Wilderness Coalition is featured in the new season of "This American Land,"
KQED WORLD San Francisco Bay Area on August 25, 1pm
KCET Burbank/Los Angeles on September 1st, 2:30pm
KLCS Los Angeles on September 20th, 9:30pm
KVIE Sacramento December 27th, 4:00pm
Please double-check your local listings and tune in or set your recorder!
Our southern California staff spent several days in the field with the film crew, showing them around and introducing them to some of the local folks working to preserve the California desert. The episode features Tom Budlong, retired computer scientist and CWC volunteer, Barbara Durham of the Timbisha Shoshone, and Brian Brown of China Ranch Date Farm. Three wilderness and wild and scenic river candidates are highlighted in the show -- the Avawatz Mountains, Conglomerate Mesa, and the Amargosa River.
Behind the scenes filming at China Ranch in the Mojave desert.
The episode also highlights Laurel Williams, CWCs Southern California Deputy Conservation Director, and our work to pass Senator Feinstein's California Desert Protection Act (S. 138). The CWC has spear-headed the campaign to pass the bill over the past several years. Today, the bill has broad support, including over 140 local businesses, chambers of commerce, city councils, Native American tribes, recreation groups and other local leaders.
This American Land is an environmental news program airing on PBS stations nationwide. The show delves into key environmental issues of the day, providing timely, engaging stories about wild places you may never have heard about and the passionate people that are devoted to protecting those treasures for future generations.
We at the CWC want to give a big thanks to the producers of This American Land for helping give the greater public a glimpse of the California desert region and some of the people working to protect it. We hope this episode helps tell the story of this special landscape and inspires more people to visit these areas and join our campaign to preserve them.
The Importance of our involvement in forest management planning
The United States Forest Service (USFS) has begun to revise the land and resource mangement plans for fifteen national forests in California. This process provides an excellent opportunity forthe CWC to influence the way that forests are managed and to advocate for increased protection for roadless areas.
Initially, the CWC focused its efforts in the Modoc National Forest and the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. The CWC partnered with Gordon Johnson, Sierra Forest Legacy and a cadre of volunteers to research and develop comprehensive reports and compelelling arguments for the increased protection of these areas.
Posted June 5, 2012, The Nevada View (Launce Rake), The U.S. Forest Service on June 1released their draft plan for managing the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU), 150,000 acres of public lands surrounding Lake Tahoe. This land management plan, also known as a forest plan, provides direction for what activities will be conducted and how the natural resources of the national forest will be managed for at least the next two decades. The current Lake Tahoe Basin forest plan has not been updated since 1988.
A key component that conservationists hope will be in the plan is a recommendation to protect the upper Truckee River and its tributaries in the Meiss Meadows area as a Wild and Scenic River. “The upper Truckee supports rare Lahontan cutthroat trout and Sierra yellow-legged frogs,” said Steve Evans, Wild Rivers Consultant for Friends of the River and the California Wilderness Coalition. “Protecting the outstanding wildlife and ecological values of the river will also ensure continued hiking, fishing, hunting, and other popular recreational activities,” he said.
The release of the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit forest plan begins a 90-day comment period. To review the draft plan, visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/ltbmu/ForestPlanRevision. Two public meetings are anticipated to be held in North Lake Tahoe and South Lake Tahoe, although details for these meetings have not yet been announced. To read more, click here.
Courtesy of the Nevada Review