50th Anniversary Events and Projects

The following projects are being planned for 2014.

National Wilderness Conference

Host the National Wilderness Conference in Albuquerque, NM on October 15-19, 2014 will be the wilderness community's first gathering in 25 years and will:
  • Foster dialogue and strategic planning with 1000-1500 government, non-profit, and private sector thought leaders and land stewards to define the future of wilderness stewardship and designation
  • Empower 10-20 Youth Leader Wilderness Scholarship Program recipients to attend and implement post-conference projects in their home communities
  • Engage 800-1000 youth and teachers through the Wilderness Awareness Trail
  • Train 50-100 K-12 teachers to use the Wilderness Investigations standardized curriculum in their classrooms
  • Educate and inform 2500-3000 New Mexico residents in the public outdoor 'Get Wild' Festival
  • Inspire over 600 attendees to the People's Film Gala with footage of the splendor of wilderness

D.C. Wilderness Week

Celebration of The Wilderness Act's golden anniversary will include a D.C. based Wilderness Week (September 15-18). Activities will include: an activist gathering to honor our history and discuss the next 50 years of wilderness protection; meetings with congressional leaders; a celebration event and after-hours tour to the Wilderness Forever Exhibit at the Smithsonian's National History Museum; and a lecture by leading American environmental historian William Cronon.

"Wilderness Forever" Smithsonian Exhibition

Conduct the "Wilderness Forever" photography contest, open to the public and inviting submission of the best in wilderness photography. Approximately 40-50 winning images will be displayed, in large format, in the Smithsonian' National Museum of Natural History starting in the fall of 2014. Approximately 8-10 best-in-show images from the winning set of 40-50 will be selected and displayed in Congressional chambers, at the National Wilderness Conference, and at other selected venues. Entries were accepted May 6 - Sept. 17, 2013. Smithsonian exhibition opens in September 2014 and will be open for 9-12 months.

Community Walks for Wilderness

Organize, through involvement by local coalitions, 50 Walks for Wilderness, one in each state, in 2014. Walks are symbolic 1-5 mile walks conducted in communities, not in congressionally designated wilderness. Walks can follow parade routes, trails or go through appropriate city or county open spaces. They are often combined with other types of events including speakers, crosscut saw and horsepacking demonstrations, booths, food, interpretive programs, music and more.

National Information and Event Website

Develop http://www.wilderness50th.org to serve as the one-stop-shopping location for all information related to 50th anniversary local, regional and national events, including the National Wilderness Conference.

Untrammeled Podcast Series

Broadcast the Untrammeled enhanced podcast series, 45 ~10-minute weekly audio broadcasts, about half including slideshow imagery and video clips, that each highlight a different wilderness area, one in each state (44 states and Puerto Rico have wilderness), told through stories about the area by various stakeholders and featuring a variety of prominent guest hosts. Enhanced podcasts are meant to be listened to and viewed online or on a mobile device, such as an mp3 player or iphone. Information for each enhanced podcast would be obtained through research including interviews with administrative staff, visitors, friends groups, volunteers, outfitters and others and through on-site field sound recordings to produce a high-quality, varied and interesting program exploring the unique aspects of each area in addition to challenges and current issues. The release of enhanced podcasts will be coordinated with local 50th celebratory events, such as community Walks for Wilderness, where possible. Enhanced podcasts will be a featured content item on http://www.wilderness50th.org, and will also be publicized through the 50th anniversary Facebook page, Twitter feed and via agency and non-profit email networks and newsletters. In addition to the ~10-minute enhanced podcasts, shortened sound-only versions (length may be variable) will be broadcast on at least one local radio station in each of the 45 states.

Traveling Displays

Create professionally-designed 50th anniversary awareness/education displays that would be available for reservation for conferences, trainings, meetings, and other wilderness-oriented federal agency, NGO, and educational institution functions held across the nation.


Work with the United States Geological Survey to create and print a wilderness wall map showing the diversity of the wilderness system and its relationship to other public lands. Maps were printed and distributed in late 2013 to the wilderness management agencies and Wilderness50 partners and are also available digitally: front and back.


Work with Faircount Media Group to produce a substantive, visual 50th anniversary commemorative edition magazine for free distribution at local and national events, agency offices and visitor centers, NGO offices, and to county commissioners, governors, and members of congress.

Postage Stamp

Submit an application to the Postmaster General for a 50th anniversary wilderness postage stamp series.


Commission famous Montana artist Monte Dolack to create an original painting (approx 30x40 inches) and poster design to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Wilderness Act. Poster will be for sale at local events and online as well as in wholesale to wilderness friends groups.


Create and print catchy, fresh 50th anniversary stickers intended to be used in conjunction with the travelling displays and brochures for distribution to public land agencies, wilderness organizations and NGOs throughout the United States. The various organizations will have discretion to disseminate the stickers through established channels and activities. Stickers would include wilderness-messaged bumper and water bottle stickers.

Water Bottle

Produce high-quality, nationally-consistent, stainless steel water bottles or pint cups celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act for National Wilderness Conference attendees and festival attendees.


Organize a film festival in conjunction with the National Wilderness Conference to showcase various wilderness films.


Hire a publicist, with the appropriate connections both inside and outside the environmental sector, to distribute information about the 50th anniversary to appropriate media outlets and obtain celebrity endorsements. The publicist will also help with media strategy including the distribution of messages via traditional media outlets such as news organizations, television and radio, and via online and social media vehicles.

Girl Scouts Wilderness Journeys

Link Girl Scouts, USA to wild lands advocacy through the GSUSA journey and badge books. Develop curriculum and program details that could include community involvement and programs such as city parks, which could then be translated into larger scale thinking. Get scouts to take a leadership role and do stewardship projects with nearby parks/protected land. It is estimated that 1,500 girls per year would earn the badge.

Wilderness Jr. Rangers

Create or use existing Jr. Ranger Wilderness program and distribute to parks (national, state, local), forests, schools, etc.

Leave No Trace PEAK Program

Incorporate information about wilderness and the 50th anniversary into PEAK Packs and put them in over 200 elementary and middle schools across the United States in 2014.

Wilderness Investigations Teacher Workshops

Host Wilderness Investigations Teacher Workshops throughout 2013 and 2014, several in Albuquerque and in other locations near the National Wilderness Conference.