Friends of Wilderness (FOW) assists the United States Forest Service (USFS) in managing and protecting the designated Wilderness Areas of the Routt National Forest and portions of the White River National Forest. In pursuit of this mission, FOW, in conjunction with the USFS, recruits, trains, equips and fields volunteer rangers prepared to educate the public and provide support in the management and protection of these wild areas. FOW’s primary focus has been, and always remains, providing a physical presence in our assigned Wilderness Areas.
The Board of Directors of FOW recognizes that pursuing that mission may at times require formally addressing public issues that impact those wild spaces, influence our ability to perform that mission, and/or affect the USFS’s management of the lands in their care. That advocacy must be limited to issues directly relevant to the group’s core interests.
Our advocacy actions should facilitate public understanding of wilderness-related issues, speak on behalf of the constituencies we serve, solicit community support and encourage civic engagement. Examples of those actions may include hosting public forums, publishing educational guides, collaborating with and supporting like-minded community organizations and advocating for public policies that lead to positive wilderness outcomes. FOW’s future success, and its’ credibility as a steward of wilderness, may be enhanced by presenting a position on such issues in a consistent, factual and non-political manner.
Under no circumstances will FOW’s activities support or oppose political candidates or engage in candidate campaign activities. Any actions taken on behalf of FOW that exhibit bias in favor of, or opposition to, any political candidates will constitute prohibited campaign activity.
This policy should in no way discourage FOW’s board members and volunteers from individually participating in public debate and/or political campaigns, as long as they clearly speak as individuals and not as representatives of FOW.
Any advocacy work done on behalf of FOW must be approved by a majority of the Board of Directors.
Additional information related to non-profit advocacy can be found by reviewing the appropriate sections of “Principles and Policies for Non-Profit Excellence” by the Colorado Non-Profit Association –