Interagency Wilderness Policy Council

The Wilderness Act is one of the nation’s most important pieces of conservation law. The Act established a National
Wilderness Preservation System (NWPS) to be administered by federal land management agencies. Management of wilderness is complex and requires careful stewardship by each of the agencies.

Leaders from the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Bureau of Land Management (BLM), National Park Service (NPS), and U.S. Geological Service Biological Resources Division (USGS BRD) have frequently promoted increased interagency wilderness cooperation and coordination. Their efforts have included an interagency Strategic Plan for Wilderness and inauguration of an interagency steering committee for the
Arthur Carhart National Wilderness Training Center and the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute. Improved interagency cooperation resulted in the development of the concept of a broader council to address wilderness issues beyond training and science. In June 1999 the Chief of the Forest Service called a meeting with the heads of the other wilderness management agencies, and all agreed that establishment of Interagency Wilderness Policy Council was in the best interest of the wilderness resource, the wilderness management agencies, and the taxpayers of the United States.

Consequently, the Interagency Wilderness Policy Council was established to improve interagency coordination in administering the Wilderness Act, thereby enhancing protection and management of the nation’s wilderness to benefit present and future generations. Establishment of the Council is consistent with the intent of the Wilderness Act as well as the National Performance Review objective of creating a more efficient government. The Council consists of policy level representatives of the four wilderness management agencies and research representatives from the Forest Service and the Department of Interior. The Council works with other agencies, institutions, interest groups, and the public as needed to address specific issues.

The goals of the Interagency Wilderness Policy Council are to:

  1. Identify and clarify issues of national significance concerning preservation and stewardship of the National Wilderness Preservation System and wilderness study areas in order to recommend and advocate coordinated agency actions.
  2. Provide a national interagency forum to coordinate and improve consistency in the interpretation and implementation of the Wilderness Act to the fullest extent practicable.
  3. Increase internal and external awareness, understanding, and support for the National Wilderness Preservation
  4. System.
  5. Review and evaluate the effectiveness of agency efforts to improve preservation, stewardship, and support for the National Wilderness Preservation System.

These issues and concerns may be identified by agency staff or by external publics. Agency staff may also contact
Council members directly to raise key concerns. Other agencies, interest groups, and the public are encouraged to bring issues to the Council’s attention. These entities or individuals may be invited to send a representative to the
Council when specific issues are addressed. Guidance or policy recommendations developed and approved by the
Council are forwarded to their respective agency heads for concurrence, dissemination, and implementation.

Council Members

Chair: Sue Spear
Director of Wilderness and W&SR
USDA Forest Service
1400 Independence, SW Mailstop 1125
Washington, DC 20250-1125
Phone: 202-644-4862 (voice)
202-695-0562 (cell)

Carl Lucero
Director, Landscape Restoration and Ecosystem Services Research
USDA Forest Service
Phone: 703-405-3823

Cynthia Martinez
Chief, National Wildlife Refuge System
US Fish and Wildlife Service
1849 C Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20240
Phone: 202-208-5333
(AA: Dee Perkins, phone: 703-358-2316)

Kristin Bail
Deputy Assistant Director, National
Landscape Conservation System
Bureau of Land Management
1849 C Street, NW (Room 5639)
Washington, DC 20240
Phone: 202-219-3180
(AA: Penny Bolden)

Brian Carlstrom
Deputy Associate Director,
Natural Resource Stewardship and Science
National Park Service
1201 I St., N.W. (Room 800)
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: 202-513-7208 (voice)
(AA Claire Shields, Phone: 202-208-3884)

Louis Rowe
Deputy Associate Director,
Visitor & Resource Protection
National Park Service
1201 Eye Street
Washington, DC 2005
Phone: 202-513-7080 (o)
703-994-5816 (cell)
(AA: Thomas Garcia, Phone: 202-565-1020)

John Organ
Chief, Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units
12201 Sunrise Valley Drive
Reston, VA 20192
Phone: 703-648-4261