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Nov 12 - Dec 31, 2020

Ventana Wilderness Alliance


The mission of the Ventana Wilderness Alliance is to preserve, protect, 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

Ventana Wilderness Alliance (VWA) aims to preserve, protect and restore the wilderness qualities and biodiversity of public lands within California’s northern Santa Lucia Mountains and Big Sur coast. Access to nature, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, is important for mental and physical health—reducing stress, depression and anxiety. Over 300 miles of trails traverse the stunning public lands of the Big Sur backcountry. However, government agency budget cuts and neglect have left many trails impassible. Add to that the recent Dolan Fire that has ravaged an already underfunded resource. VWA hopes to use Monterey County Gives! funds to begin to repair the devastation from the Dolan Fire, restoring landscapes and habitat to their original beauty. Editor's note: Ventana Wilderness Alliance's Big Idea has been updated from what appeared in the print edition.

Within this moment we all can realize the importance of getting out into natural landscapes. To preserve and protect our local public lands, the Ventana Wilderness Alliance has embraced the challenge of improving access for Monterey County residents and visitors. I am thankful for VWA programs focusing on education, stewardship, and advocacy. They help assure the Big Sur backcountry will be wild and accessible for future generations to enjoy.

- Ethan Atkins