Wilderness Society Receives Grant from Goldman Fund To Protect Public Lands from Off-Road Vehicle Damage

Mar 26, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO — The Wilderness Society has received a $125,000 grant from the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund of San Francisco to protect public lands in California from damage caused by unregulated use of dirt bikes and other off-road vehicles.

“There has been a proliferation of new roads and motorized trail networks in our national forests and other federal wildlands,” said Matt Dietz, a California-based ecologist with The Wilderness Society. “The cumulative impact of millions of off-road users is highly destructive and has become one of the leading threats to public landscapes across the country. These activities need to be carried out in places where they will not threaten wildlife, vegetation, and people who are seeking peace and quiet.”

The funding will enable The Wilderness Society to develop ecological, economic, and legal criteria for federal land management agencies to use in designating routes suitable for off-road vehicles, while closing and when needed, restoring, unsuitable routes in ecologically sensitive areas. “We are grateful to Richard Goldman for his commitment to conservation and to the Goldman Fund for its generosity,” said Wilderness Society President William H. Meadows.

The Wilderness Society’s mission is to protect wilderness and inspire Americans to care for our wild places. Founded in 1935 by Aldo Leopold, Bob Marshall, and six others, the nonprofit has more than 400,000 members and supporters. The Wilderness Society specializes in issues involving national forests, national parks, national wildlife refuges, and other lands that belong to all Americans.

The Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund provides resources and leadership for creative, risk-taking philanthropy.