Wild Connections, Inc.

Rating: 4.9 stars   10 reviews

Issues: Environment

Location: 1420 Pinewood Road Florissant CO 80816 USA

Mission:

Wild Connections, a science-based advocacy organization, works to identify, protect and restore lands of the Upper Arkansas and South Platte watersheds to ensure the survival of native species and ecological richness. We focus on designing, implementing and defending the Wild Connections Conservation Plan – a vision for the future of this region that embodies the results of many years of roadless area mapping, citizen input and conservation science.

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EIN 14-1899876
719-686-5905
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

I ( John Chapman) wrote a review (as jappleseed) in the past and since that time have both lead additional field work on National Forest lands where the group accomplished restoration work on roads closed to adverse use and attended meetings to help plan for the future. Wild Connections remains committed to fostering sound ecosystem management, carrying out restoration work, and providing sound public comment on the future of the Pike National Forest and adjacent BLM and state and county lands. The members are professional in outlook and seek to achieve effective management through cooperative comment and action with these groups, not adversarial positioning. This group believes in both preservation and sound public use and enjoyment of these important lands.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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1 previous review
Rating: 4 stars  

I have been associated with Wild Connections for a year, serving as Project Director for the group's rehabilitation projects on Forest Service areas. This is a small group with a big passion for sound landscape management and involvement of people with the land at its managing agencies. They focus on providing managment recommendations which are scientifically sound as to proper use, preservation, and restoration. They believe in not only commenting, but also in getting "into the trenches" with those who must manage the land and deal with a myriad of public pressures.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The group's ability to meet with land managing agency staff and gain rapport in looking at land management and restoration from a sound scientific base.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Help them get the word out to many potentially interested people along Colorado's Front Range as to the good work of this group and its reaching out to land managers to help them in their difficult work managing the public's land.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I'm adding to my 2010 review because since that time, Wild Connections has successfully helped to create an unbroken roadless area and wildlife corridor in Pike National Forest. Leading armies of volunteers, Wild Connections also healed this area, Green Mountain, after the Forest Service closed a short, steep, and disruptive jeep trail (that, after mucking a high-mountain wetland, went nowhere.) Wild Connections has also advocated for wilderness designation in Brown's Canyon and other south-central Colorado wilderness candidates; for 2013, WC is planning restoration projects around Mount Evans wilderness.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

I began as a volunteer mapper in the mid 90's, exploring roadless areas in the Pike-San Isabel National Forest. Later I helped coordinate teams of mappers in the Wildcat Canyon area of the South Platte River. I learned about the connection between roadlessness and wilderness advocacy.



Wild Connections taught me to recognize and record biodiversity and understand the role of wild life corridors while deepening my own connection to the wild lands adjacent to Denver.



In the 2000s, I have participated in Wild Connections' restoration projects, which have taken the next logical step for the organization,

from education and research to advocacy to the actual healing of trampled public wild lands.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

its impact on public policy, helping to shape the direction of roadless-area protections in the national forest and other public lands. Our Wild Connections Conservation Plan, a massive and comprehensive compilation of all roadless areas in the Pike-San Isabel National Forest, has become an effective and well-known data bank for all of the forest's stakeholders.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

hope it continues to seek professional organizers to manage its restoration work and wilderness advocacy.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I started with Wild Connections in 1996 volunteering as a mapper of roadless areas in the Pike San Isabel National Forest. Over the years I have extensively mapped three roadless areas. This allowed me to climb some of the highest mountains in Colorado, go into and find secret valleys the few other people have been to, and see pine martins, weasels, bear, and mountain lions. Leaving the roads and trail to find the the wildness in the center of a roadless area, my wife and I found bristle cone pines so big, the two of us could now wrap our arms around them. After doing years of mapping I became a board member, and have helped on the administrative side of the organization. Now we are starting on a new phase, mapping the BLM lands adjacent to the Pike San Isabel in order to work to protect these valuable lands as well. Wild Connections is the most effective small environmental organization I know of which is why I continue to serve on the board and volunteer in all other capacities.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

Members of several environmental groups in the Pikes Peak region, including Wild Connections (WC), founded Central Colorado Wilderness Coalition in 2002. Since then, the volunteer-run coalition advocating new wilderness designations has received continuous advice and support from WC in technical and financial matters. Working together, the groups boost citizen involvement and knowledge in important regional natural resource concerns.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

One remarkable thing, among many, that WC has accomplished is the assembly of a science-based citizens' alternative, the Wild Connections Conservation Plan (WCCP), to contribute to the update of the Pike-San Isabel National National Forest Management Plan. In several ways, I have observed how data and the vision of the WCCP influenced the forest service toward more environmentally sustainable management and protection of biological diversity, for example in identification and protection of roadless lands.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would assure funding for WC to maintain a small, but stable professional staff, but also to continue its tradition of an activist board for volunteer directors with diverse backgrounds and a unified view for the organization's future.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Quite well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

What is unique about this organization?

WC is unique in its advocacy and on-the-ground work for the protection of biological diversity in the public lands of the Upper Arkansas River and South Platte River watersheds of Colorado.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been involved with Wild Connections for over a decade. I started simply as a sometime--volunteer, but I ended up on the board after seeing the passion of the founders of the organzation, which quickly infects anyone who comes in contact with them. As the founders are retiring and moving on, I hope we can find a way to maintain their feeling and vision and continue to do amazing things similar to what has been accomplished so far.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The respect the Forest Service has shown Wild Connections and its volunteers. They know we are serious and knowledgable, and -- unlike some other groups -- we approach them as colleagues we can work with rather than adversaries who must be defeated.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would love to see WC grow to the point that it can support a full-time staff professional, someone who can maintain our relationships withland management agencies and political decision makers, and who can continue to inspire our volunteers.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

How did you learn about this organization?

Contact from founder

What is this organization's top short-term priority?

Protecting roadless areas and ecological diversity

What is its top priority in the long run?

Seeing public lands managed in accordance with the Wild Connections Conservation Plan

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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Rating: 5 stars  

I started volunteering for Wild Connections in 1998 through mapping the Green Mountain Colorado Roadless area. I was immediately impressed with the ability to work closely with the organization's leader, to have an impact through the field work I completed, and to learn more about conservation. I continued to be impressed at the level of direct contact (use of my work in publications, updates on the volunteer projects I worked, on and personal thank you messages for donations)the organization kept with me throughout the years when I wasn't able to volunteer as much. Wild Connections has allowed me to have a direct impact on preserving the areas of Colorado that I love.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

their commitment to science based habitat restoration and preservation.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Increase community awareness of the organization's impact.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been involved with this organization since 1995 when I started to inventory roadless areas near the Arkansas Valley. I was then involved in determining the boundaries of the roadless areas that I and other mapped and then determined which have the characteristics of the wilderness areas that could be protected by congress. I helped with writing the Wild Connections Conservation Plan that presented a conservation oriented approach to managing lands in and around the Pike-San Isabel National Forest. Since the publications of the document, Wild Connections has influenced the roadless area inventory for the Pike-San Isabel National Forest and has participated in the closure and restoration of a damaged trail in an important stream drainage. I joined the board of directors and helped the organization make its transition from defining the Wild Connections plan to taking a more hands on approach to restoration while maintaining its commitment to providing a conservation voice to influence the management of lands in the Wild Connections area. One thing I greatly value about this organization is its commitment to take a reasoned, science-based approach to its conservation approach and how it has grown to be respected by the agencies that manage lands in the Wild Connections area, especially the Forest Service.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Convincing the Pike-San Isabel National Forest to significantly increasing their inventory of roadless lands in the Pike-San Isabel National Forest.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Successfully transition from relying on volunteers for all aspects of the organization to professional leadership while continuing to have volunteers being a strong part of the organization.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

How did you learn about this organization?

A presentation from the founder at a Sierra Club retreat.

What is this organization's top short-term priority?

Continue restoration of important areas in the watersheds of the headwaters of the Arkansas and South Platte Rivers.

What is its top priority in the long run?

Influence public agencies including the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management to manage the lands in a way that will allow them to provide clean air, water, habitat for plants and wildlife and an escape for humans for the next 100 years and beyond.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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Rating: 5 stars  

Wild Connections gave me the chance to use my passion for all things wild in practical protection for some of Colorado’s wildest lands. From my home in Denver and now in Florissant, the mountains are always in view. The combination of serious citizen science and get-my-hands-dirty is inspiring. It keeps me actively working toward that day when people and wildlife are all seen as part of the greater whole that makes up our fragile planet Earth.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

restoring wildlife habitat in Trout Creek.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

encourage more diverstiy on the Board.

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