The objectives of this Agreement are to cooperatively:
1) Work with SWS and Wilderness50, and other partners to facilitate programs, activities, products, and events associated with the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act; 2) Work in partnership with SWS, Wilderness 50, and
other partners to improve wilderness stewardship awareness, and increase the public awareness of wilderness; 3) Work with SWS to build capacity, broaden institutional knowledge, and advance education and training for continued high-quality stewardship of wilderness lands; and 4) Work collaboratively with SWS to address current wilderness stewardship issues.The Service provides for the public enjoyment and preservation of the nations national wildlife refuges.
This includes responsibility of stewarding 21 million acres of designated wilderness in 63 national wildlife refuges, or about 20 percent of the National Wilderness Preservation System (NWPS).
In addition, almost 2 million acres of NWRS land have been proposed for wilderness designation.
The SWS is a 501c(3) organization dedicated to informing, uniting, and supporting the extensive community groups and individuals actively engaged in stewardship of the NWPS.
SWS goals are to:
1) engage, inspire, and mentor the next generation of wilderness stewards by supporting the expansion of educational, experiential, and professional training and developmental opportunities; 2) provide career development and networking opportunities; 2) collaborate and partner to increase the knowledge and capacity of agencies and organizations to support the NWPS; 4) develop and deliver state-of-the-art science and best management practices; 5) provide reliable and credible information regarding wilderness stewardship issues and opportunities; and, 6) advance public awareness and support of wilderness stewardship.In August 2012, the Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, and U. S. Forest Service signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with SWS to formalize a collective commitment to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act by collaborating on and facilitating public education and awareness initiatives.
The MOU describes the collaborative relationship among the federal land management agencies, SWS, other non-governmental organizations, and academic institutions, collectively operating as the 50th Anniversary National Wilderness Planning Team (Wilderness50).
SWS holds a distinct role among Wilderness50 partner organizations as the official fiscal sponsor for 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act planning events, activities, programs, and products that will be utilized to raise public awareness of the benefits and values of wilderness and its purpose for the use and enjoyment of the American people.