About UsWilderness.net is a website formed in 1996 through a collaborative partnership between the College of Forestry and Conservation's Wilderness Institute at The University of Montana, the Arthur Carhart National Wilderness Training Center and the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute. The latter two partners are the wilderness training and research arms of the Federal government, respectively. The program is overseen by a working group and steering committee.
Wilderness.net also periodically receives grant funding and partners with other organizations to provide services or further disseminate wilderness information. Since 1999, Wilderness.net has partnered with Buck Tilton, author of America's Wilderness - The Complete Guide to More than 600 National Wilderness Areas, whose book has provided the descriptions for most of the wilderness areas on the site. In FY03 the Wilderness Institute received a generous donation in memory of John G. Batchelder, which continues to fund development of the wilderness image library on Wilderness.net. In FY09, Wilderness.net partnered with CoolIris to better showcase selected library images. In FY04 Wilderness.net became a data partner providing wilderness data to Recreation.gov. In FY07 Wilderness.net received grant funding from the Norcross Wildlife Foundation and NorthwesternEnergy to purchase a new webserver. In FY08 Wilderness.net and the Arthur Carhart National Wilderness Training Center developed content and interview contact lists for future development of wilderness-related WildeBeat podcasts. In FY09 Wilderness.net partnered with Google to launch an online GIS map. In FY10 Wilderness.net partnered with MyTopo to incorporate topographic data into the online map and provide a venue through which visitors can purchase topographic maps. Also FY10, Wilderness.net became a Google Maps data partner to ensure that Google Maps website users have access to wilderness data for viewing online and on mobile devices. In recent fiscal years, Wilderness.net has worked to connect wilderness managers with online mapping and GPS data providers like Garmin and NavTeq to ensure that wilderness boundary information is accurate, thereby reducing illegal vehicle intrusions and increasing public safety. Wilderness.net is also exploring partnerships with mobile app providers like American Park Network (Oh! Ranger, ParkFinder) and Yonder to make wilderness information accessible through smartphones.
Wilderness.net now educates over 75,000 visitors each month about wilderness and the value of public lands preservation. The site houses the only officially-recognized, national, comprehensive, inter-agency database of information about all Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, Forest Service and National Park Service wilderness areas. Not only does it serve as the definitive Internet source for wilderness acreages and area descriptory information, Wilderness.net works directly with agency wilderness management staff to provide other important information, such as regulations, trip planning tips and contact information. In addition to learning about specific wilderness areas, visitors can also access educational information on wilderness history, important and influential personalities, the values and benefits of wilderness, threats to wilderness and much more. Through a variety of online libraries, Wilderness.net also provides access to imagery, quotes, multimedia, wilderness legislation, agency policies, reports and MOUs, and scientific literature and research. In addition, Wilderness.net provides wilderness and land management staff with job-related resources that address current management issues.