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.
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'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.
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 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.
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.
Review from Guidestar
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 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 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.
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.