Winter Wildlands Alliance

October 24th, 2008 by Doug Schnitzspahn

I’ll be speaking on the media panel at the Winter Wildlands Alliance Grassroots Advocacy Conference tonight. The topic will be how local non-motorized advocates can pitch travel plan issues to the media, bringing together my experiences both as a writer and working for the Forest Service. Though it does not sound sexy, it’s a critical issue, as forest plans are created on the district level and local advocates can have a big say in the process, especially if they have media exposure. Each forest and district can create its own travel regulations within national designations. For example, an area may not be designated wilderness or roadless but an individual forest can still make it off limits to, say, snowmobiles. Many travel plans were written before snowmobiles became as powerful as they are today and updating the plans should take into account newer bigger machines. Beyond all that, I like the Winter Wildlands Alliance’s tag line: “Giving Solitude a Voice.” All too often arguments over land use come down to economics, science, or recreation use. The value of the place does not always have to be based on those measurements. The ability to experience a place so that we experience our deepest self has inestimable value. As Byron noted solitude is the state “where we are least alone.”

One Response to “Winter Wildlands Alliance”

  1. business wrote on 08/22/11 at 8:29 am :

    Snowmobiles all-terrain vehicles and jetskis have all been limited by new management plans developed by NPS US Forest Service BLM and state agencies. Snowmobiles have enjoyed a period of relative welcome from many forests since they do not feed into the erosion problems associated with off-road vehicles in warmer seasons. Native Forest Networks Last Refuge Campaign has spent three winters documenting the growing problem of trespass by snowmobilers in federally protected Wilderness and other areas off-limits to motorized recreation.