Mission Statement

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.

                                                                                                          Toward this end the Ventana Wilderness Alliance will: 

mission and purpose

  • Advocate for expanded Wilderness and Wild and Scenic River designations to ensure that roadless lands and free-flowing streams remain as such
  • Monitor activities and proposals that affect the public lands of the northern Santa Lucia Mountains and Big Sur coast and take action as necessary to preserve wilderness qualities and biodiversity
  • Encourage conservation vigilance among our members, neighbors and relations
  • Develop, organize and implement habitat restoration and stewardship projects
  • Ensure public access by engaging volunteer and professional crews to maintain and restore public trails
  • Preserve public access by securing and defending prescriptive trail easements
  • Build cooperative and effective relationships with similarly concerned public and private agencies and organizations
  • Maintain cultural preservation programs through education, advocacy, and training
  • Encourage and support conservation and natural science research and education in the region
  • Educate, inspire and motivate future generations of central California’s wilderness advocates and stewards 


In 1998, the newly-formed organization inventoried lands within the Los Padres National Forest to determine their suitability for federal designation as Wilderness. The VWA presented their findings to US Congressman Sam Farr, thereby providing a basis for the Big Sur Wilderness and Conservation Act, signed into law in December, 2002. The VWA then initiated projects to benefit the now-expanded Wilderness, its visitors and the wild species that call it home.

VWA volunteers have since dedicated tens of thousands of hours to stewardship and advocacy projects. While most reside in the Central Coast and San Francisco Bay Area, VWA’s 1.400-plus members hail from 26 US States and all walks of life. Initially an all-volunteer organization, VWA hired its first paid staff member in 2008 and its first Executive Director in 2010.


Post Office Box 506
Santa Cruz, California 95061-0506

Telephone: (831) 423-3191   

Fax: (831) 429-9011


If you are planning a trip into the backcountry, please see these pages before contacting us. 

The VWA is a 501 c 3 nonprofit organization. Our Tax ID # is 77-0532467.

We look forward to hearing from you!