The 50th Anniversary National Wilderness Planning Team (Wilderness50) is a growing coalition of federal agencies, non-profit organizations, academic institutions, and other wilderness user groups whose purpose is to plan and eventually implement local, regional, and national events and projects, specifically designed to elevate the profile of wilderness during the 50th anniversary celebration.
Wilderness50's goals are to:
- Engage the public to better understand and appreciate the many benefits and values of wilderness, ultimately resulting in more people supporting responsible wildlands stewardship;
- Bring the wilderness community (NGOs/Agencies/International Advocates) "together" to efficiently and consistently steward wilderness for the use, enjoyment, and benefit of the American people;
- Connect with today's youth and with non-wilderness using groups to find the thread that ties their lives to wild places so they can more directly relate to, understand, and value, wilderness.
Wilderness50's diversity commitment is to:
- Acknowledge that diverse communities celebrate and engage with wilderness in many different ways, even though their traditions have not always expressed these connections in the same way as more "orthodox" environmentalists.
- Realize that the assumptions of the Wilderness Act, valuable and pathbreaking in many ways for Americans, have led to a "non-inclusive" movement around the wilderness concept, and many people in non-traditional communities view wilderness as irrelevant.
- Reach out to and work with diverse communities to incorporate them as full participants into event and program planning.
- Focus on holding events in non-traditional places; develop partnerships with diverse ethnic, cultural and faith-based communities and organizations; and describe both the well-understood and less-recognized values and benefits of wilderness.
Planned and proposed events include:
- 300-400 community events including at least 50 Walks for Wilderness (one in each state)
- Teacher workshops introducing a new K-12 curriculum
- Community museum, airport and visitor center displays
- Travelling display packages and banners for use by local communities
- National website and social media campaign
- Online and radio "Wilderness of the Week" enhanced podcast series
- Commemorative poster commissioned by famous Montana artist Monte Dolack
- Commemorative wilderness map
- Commemorative magazine
- Other printed media including water bottles, stickers, and bumper stickers
- National public photography contest
- Smithsonian photography exhibition
- Washington D.C. Wilderness Week, held during the third week of September, 2014
- National Wilderness Conference scheduled for October 15-19, 2014
Read more about these 50th anniversary events and projects.
Wilderness50 member organizations include (these organizations are signatories on an MOU signed at a formal ceremony in Washington D.C. on August 23, 2012; additional organizations interested in supporting the MOU can do so at any time after the official signing by requesting to be added to the MOU member organization appendix):
Other groups Wilderness50 is working with on specific projects or events include:
For business purposes, Wilderness50 is registered as a corporation in the state of California and partners with the Society for Wilderness Stewardship, a 501(c)3 non-profit, as its fiscal sponsor. As such, any online donations made to Wilderness50 through this website are tax deductible.