Over 1 million readers this year!

What’s New at the Wyoming Wilderness Association?

This story by Kevin Knapp first appeared on the Sheridan Dally on April 19, 2018

(Gillette, Wyo.) With a new headquarters and a new Executive Director, there’s a lot going on at the Wyoming Wilderness Association (WWA) these days.

The new headquarters is at 44 South Main St., which is admittedly a great location. But they know that the wilderness is where it’s really at.

Heidi Davidson, WWA Marketing & Outreach Director, says she wants to get back to the key word in their title: “Wilderness.”

I’m guessing you already appreciate the great outdoors, but the WWA is on a mission to inspire you to love the wilderness. And we could all use a reminder that, sometimes, the things we love need to be protected.

As soon as I was old enough to carry a pack, my dad started the summer tradition of taking me on a week-long excursion into the Cloud Peak Wilderness Area. At the time, I took it for granted that such a thing as a “wilderness area” existed.

But it turns out that, in 1979 (the same year I was born), a group of folks came together right here in Sheridan to advocate for what would become the Wyoming Wilderness Act of 1984. That law created the majority of wilderness areas in Wyoming, including Cloud Peak, Popo Agie, Gros Ventre and Jedediah Smith.

Wilderness Study Areas (WSAs) in Wyoming (Wyo. County Commissioner’s Ass’n, Cheyenne, WY)

Although it has changed more than once over the years, the Wyoming Wilderness Association still has the same core mission: to provide a local voice for protection of wilderness and roadless areas.

In its most recent iteration, Liz Howell, who advocated for the Wyoming Wilderness Act, established the Wyoming Wilderness Association as a non-profit, tax exempt organization in 2003.

On Wednesday, Khale Century Reno was announced as the WWA’s new Executive Director. Davidson says that she is perfect for the job, and will bring a lot of energy to the cause.

The WWA has staff and council members from around the state. Areas of interest include BLM wilderness lands such as the Red Desert and the Jackson Palisades Wilderness Study Area (WSA). A WSA is an area that is under review to become designated as a wilderness.

The WWA points out that, while the wilderness system in Wyoming encompasses roughly 3 million acres, 5 million acres of spectacular wild land remain unprotected.

The WWA’s primary project is the Rock Creek Recommended Wilderness, a portion that was originally intended to be a part of the Cloud Peak Wilderness Area. The portion was left out because of long-since defunct mineral leases. The WWA would like to see it become the first new wilderness area since the Wyoming Wilderness Act.

Check out this video to learn more about Rock Creek:

[youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uJ1WN9O4zI”]

If you support the WWA’s mission, there are a lot of ways to get involved, including these upcoming events:


Mini art!

WWA’s 12th Annual Miniature Art Auction: Celebrating Our Wild Earth

Miniature artworks donated by talented local artists will be open for viewing and bidding April 23 through May 31, 2018 at the new office at 44 South Main Street. Final bids, refreshments, and a chance to meet WWA’s new executive director will be Thursday, May 31 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm.

Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour

From the film Into Twin Galaxies: ©Erik Boomer

Tuesday, April 24 at 6:30 PM at the WYO Theater. The 2017/2018 world tour features an exhilarating collection of films that explore the mountain world, highlighting new landscapes and remote cultures, and exposes audiences to exciting adventures and adrenaline packed sports.

Also, at the after-party at Luminous Brewhouse, the winner of a summer weekend getaway on the Big Horn National Forest will be announced. Don’t miss your chance to win a booked reservation for the Muddy Guard cabin for August 9-12, 2018.

This popular and hard-to-book cabin is located 30 minutes west of Buffalo, and sleeps six. Tickets can be purchased online at www.wildwyo.org. Entrants need not be present to win.


Mother’s Day Medicine Lodge Archaeological Wild Study Area Camp-out

On May 11-13, the WWA is renting the entire group campsite at the dry fork of Medicine Lodge Creek. There are 12 picnic tables, a playground, horse corrals, and great opportunities for birding!

Young Ambassadors for Wilderness

YAW is a statewide leadership program developed to educate youth ages 12-18 who are interested in becoming the next generation of wilderness leaders. The 5-month curriculum focuses on expanding participants’ knowledge of Wyoming’s wild places. Applications are due May 14.

The WWA would also like to remind everyone that 2018 is the 50th anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.

To find out more about wilderness issues nationally, check out The Wilderness Society.

For more information about the Wyoming Wilderness Association or any of the programs above, go to wildwyo.org, call (307) 672-2751, or email heidi@wildwyo.org.