It’s official! WILD is honored by the US Forest Service as this year’s recipient of the Bob Marshall Award for Group Champion of Wilderness Stewardship. This award recognizes our dedication to wilderness stewardship, partnerships with the US land management agencies and ongoing work for wilderness in the United States. It is one of the highest honors from the federal government for outstanding work in wilderness protection and management.
This award is particularly special because of the wilderness champion for which it is named. Robert Marshall (1901-1939), a renowned writer and activist, was head of recreation management with the Forest Service for several years and introduced the concept of a formal, federal designation for wilderness lands. The award acknowledges wilderness champions who continue in Bob Marshall’s footsteps in the modern day.
The award specifically recognizes WILD for:
- Initiating and facilitating the development of the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation for Wilderness Conservation, signed at WILD9, the 9th World Wilderness Congress (Mexico, 2009). This MOU is the first formal agreement between countries on wilderness conservation and resulted in the establishment of an active North American Intergovernmental Committee on Cooperation for Wilderness and Protected Areas (NAWPA Committee) comprised of the heads of land management agencies in the United States, Mexico and Canada. WILD facilitates the Working Groups that carry out decisions made by the agency heads, who recently extended coverage of the MOU to include all protected areas under the jurisdiction of their agencies. (https://wild.org/main/how-wild-works/policy-research/mou-on-wilderness)
- Leadership in developing, managing and publishing the International Journal of Wilderness. WILD launched the Journal in 1995 and continues to publish this choice tool for wilderness advocates and managers. (https://ijw.org)
- Dedication to wilderness stewardship through managing three of the four editions of the Wilderness Management textbook, the most comprehensive and up-to-date information available on wilderness management, history, philosophy and policy. (https://wild.org/wild-store/wilderness-management)
- Exceptional history working to perpetuate quality wilderness for present and future generations through the World Wilderness Congress (WWC). Started in 1974, the WWC is WILD’s flagship program. Having now convened nine times in seven different countries, the WWC is the world’s longest running public environmental forum and has a long history of practical conservation results. One is the Global Wilderness Forum for Government Agencies, in which the USDA Forest Service takes a lead organizational role (https://wild.org/main/world-wilderness-congress).