Though there are many organizations who work to add wilderness areas to the National Wilderness Preservation Ssystem, Wilderness Watch has earned distinction as the only organization that fights to prevent the degradation of the 680 existing wilderness areas in the United States.
Wilderness Defense/Stewardship is our core program. According to the Wilderness Act, these lands are "designated for preservation and protection in their natural condition. However, federal agencies are increasingly defying the very laws they are supposed to uphold. Wildlife is being displaced, solitude grows harder to find, and livestock grazing, airstrips, helicopter flights, dams, mining and inappropriate fire suppression occur far too frequently. Every day, Wilderness Watch upholds the standards of Wilderness through advocacy, education, and, when necessary, litigation. Public Outreach and Education has gained increasing importance as we portray current projects, issues, and threats to Wilderness through forums, conferences, our quarterly newsletter, periodic action alerts, and our web site. Saving Wilderness Traditions represents our effort to bring attention to the skills needed to maintain Wilderness character in the 680 Wilderness Areas in the United States. A whole new generation has taken over responsibilities for managing Wilderness, and, increasingly, these leaders are authorizing exceptions to the Wilderness Act's minimum requirements necessary for maintaining Wilderness values. In response, Wilderness Watch is bringing workshops around the country to train officials and citizens in low-impact transportation, non-mechanical restoration and maintenance, and fire suppression without machinery.