Wilderness Defenders Program

Why is New Mexico Wild creating the new Wilderness Defenders program?

Gathering information on the condition of wildlands is the goal of our Wilderness Defenders. We plan to use volunteers to provide New Mexico Wild and public land agencies with current information regarding selected locales that are often difficult to reach without a good hike. For example, volunteers will visit Wilderness Study Areas that may warrant new designations or protections. With more than 36 million acres of public land in the state, we can use all the boots on the ground that are available. Over time, we hope to build the Wilderness Defender volunteers to over 100 members.

We’ve been proud to field a small corps of Wilderness Rangers over the past five years in partnership with the US Forest Service. This new program will provide substantial additional scale. In addition, Wilderness Defenders can monitor public lands not managed by USFS.

Prior to registering, please fill out the following information regarding your experience in the backcountry and with collecting data. It is important to be as honest as possible as this will help us pair you with the right project with the Wilderness Defenders. Even if you have little to no experience, we will have something for you.

Wilderness Defenders Registration: