In 1991, Wild Wilderness began participating in local Forest Service meetings as just a couple of Bend, Oregon residents who happened to "appreciate the value of wilderness."
In 1994, the Forest Service developed plans that would have turned a favorite local winter recreation area into a motorized SnoPark that would no longer be safe for the local families who ski and snowshoe in the area. Had we not learned of this proposal accidentally, it surely would have been approved without any comment from the general public. Instead, for nearly two years, Wild Wilderness focused public attention on this issue. Not only is there no additional snowmobile parking at this location today, but as a result of input received through the public comment process, all marked Nordic Trails have since been closed to snowmobile use.
In the Spring of 1997, Wild Wilderness chanced upon the following statement in another Forest Service brochure. It read:
The Forest Service's Recreation Fee Demonstration Program was developed in partnership with leading national recreation interests. Its implementation is occurring through a Challenge Cost Share partnership with the American Recreation Coalition ...
We learned that the American Recreation Coalition was pushing federal legislation that would allow its members to develop public lands for private profit. Because ARC's members represent motorized recreation interests only, and because there is more money to be made from lift tickets and luxury lodges than hiking trails and primitive campsites, that legislation favors motorized sports over undeveloped recreation.
In the summer of 1997 Wild Wilderness created a website to warn the general public about plans to privatize, commercialize and motorize America's National Forests. Since that time we have been researching the issue, speaking out, educating the media, and providing guidance to undeveloped recreation enthusiasts all over the country.