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Nov 10 - Dec 31, 2022

Ventana Wilderness Alliance


The mission of the Ventana Wilderness Alliance is to protect, preserve, and restore the wilderness qualities and biodiversity of the public lands within California's northern Santa Lucia Mountains and Big Sur coast.

The Big Idea

"In wildness is the preservation of the world." So wrote Henry David Thoreau in 1862, and the same can be said in modern-day Monterey County. Here, we're blessed with a mosaic of public land; at its core lies the 270,000-acre Ventana and Silver Peak Wilderness areas. Whether we bother to ever set foot upon these grounds, their wildness gives us so much, from ecosystem services like watershed protection and wildlife habitat, to opportunities for spiritual renewal. It takes people to keep these places wild, and agencies like USDA Forest Service are not sufficiently staffed to get the job done. That's why the VWA's Ranger program is critical. Rangers clean up trails and camps and teach fire safety. They provide first-aid and Search and Rescue assistance. Ranger work is a labor of love, but it takes training and travel; it's definitely not free. Thanks to your support, Rangers keep it wild!

Throngs of nature lovers visit Big Sur each year to enjoy Ventana and Silver Peak Wilderness areas. VWA Volunteer Wilderness Rangers patrol the backcountry, educating visitors and blunting potential tragedies unknown to the rest of us. While they focus on fire prevention, rangers have on occasion put out illegal or abandoned campfires that may have potentially become forest fires. Rangers cooperate in backcountry rescues, lending their expertise while coordinating with multiple agencies to get the job done expeditiously. Their institutional knowledge of the backcountry is invaluable for the safety of the Big Sur community and to the visitors traversing the many trails in the Big Sur wilderness.

- Stan Russell, Big Sur Chamber of Commerce