The mission of the Wyoming Wilderness Association (WWA) is to protect Wyoming public wildlands.
WWA is a non-profit conservation group that began in 1979 as a group of local wilderness advocates who envisioned the passage of the Wyoming Wilderness Act. This small volunteer, grassroots group began educating, training, and organizing Wyoming citizens to secure the passage of the 1984 Wyoming Wilderness Act. The Act permanently protected 1.1 million acres of ecologically diverse, wild landscapes. WWA was re-started and incorporated with the State of Wyoming in 1994 to serve as a local voice for the protection of Wilderness and roadless areas. As of 2020, WWA has 4,500 members and supporters. Their voice gives us the inspiration to continue to strive for a wild Wyoming!
What we do
The Wyoming wilderness system encompasses roughly 3% of the state, while still 5 million acres of spectacular wild land, spanning deserts, forests, and plains, remains unprotected. Our top priority is to defend wild, roadless lands and safeguard their potential for future wilderness designation..
Our three pillars of advocacy, education, and stewardship ensure these public lands remain pristine and intact for every American citizen to enjoy now and into the future. WWA hosts outings to vulnerable public wildlands where participants have the opportunity to learn the value of wilderness. We also advocate for wilderness through local festivals, film screenings, newsletters, action alerts, social media, formal presentations, and meetings with elected officials and stakeholders. Our work is made possible through the generous support of our valued members, volunteers, and donors.
Meet Our Team
Khale Century Reno (Big Horn, WY)
With deep roots in the Wyoming landscape (family settled in Big Horn, Wyoming in 1883) and a first name that doesn’t fit neatly on most bubble forms, Khale Century (KC) Reno is the Executive Director. The title KC has held the longest has been educator. She has been in the education world for over 20 years teaching students from young to old in various disciplines: environmental science, outdoor education, health, and physical education. After completing the graduate program with the Teton Science Schools, she received her M.Ed. from Montana State University. Some other work and education adventures include: sports medicine/health education degree from Linfield College in McMinnville, OR, semester study in Queensland, Australia, basketball pro-player in Switzerland and Denmark, a college basketball coach in Seattle, WA, and teaching PE and health at the Journeys School in Jackson, Wyoming. Outside of work adventures include: raising two boys (Boone and Ace) with husband Renzy, working on her family’s cattle/sheep ranch, backpacking, teaching piano, watching polo and still playing basketball. All of these experiences have taken her through the ups and downs of working with people, creating community, and navigating topics that have sides sitting on opposite sides of the table. KC loves to create conversation amongst those that would at first seem to be at odds and help them connect over shared stories. "At the end, one finds that we have more commonalities than not and the challenge lies with how we move forward."
Carlie Ideker (Alpine, WY)
Bridger-Teton & Tribal Engagement Coordinator
Carlie is a fourth-generation Wyomingite raised in Dubois, who grew up exploring the wilderness areas and public lands of northwest Wyoming. Her early encounters with the archaeological record eventually led to a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Wyoming and an M.S. in Anthropology with an emphasis in Archaeology and Cultural Resource Management from Utah State University. She has worked in the rocky mountain west professionally since 2012, centering her career on the connection between people and place. Carlie is passionate about including the cultural landscape in conservation discussions to recognize the value of wilderness to all stakeholders. Outside of work, you’re likely to find Carlie with her sidekicks - husband Mike and two dogs, Aspen and Otter - enjoying the region’s public lands either trail running, hiking, fly-fishing, hunting, backpacking, or skiing.
Taylor Washburn (Sheridan, WY)
Communications & Outreach Director
Originally a flatlander from the corn fields of Central Illinois, Taylor became enamored with the mountain west and wild places ever since a highschool trip to summit Mt. Elbert, the highest peak in Colorado. Yearly trips out west to hike peaks or ski the slopes took place thereafter. Getting more involved with outdoor recreation throughout university, such as rock climbing and backpacking, Taylor started working professionally in the outdoor industry in 2015 as a backpacking guide in Northern Minnesota, and quickly combined the love of outdoor adventure with his passions of photography, videography, and graphic design. Subsequent years of trip leading on the East Coast and PNW solidified his career path in the outdoor world. In early 2020, Taylor moved to Lander, WY with his fiance, Rocio, but soon transitioned north to the small town of Shell, WY, at the western foot of the Bighorns, where they lived in their self-converted campervan, worked for the US Forest Service, and got married. After landing a winter job at Antelope Butte, they moved to the “big city” across the mountains, Sheridan, where Taylor continued to work for the Forest Service in the summers, and Antelope Butte in the winters. Having grown up in the Midwest, without access to serene wilderness places, Taylor has a strong passion for protecting the wild places in his new home-state. In his free time you can find Taylor, Rocio, and their dog, Clif, climbing, hiking, biking, skiing, and woodworking.
Sarah Walker (Dubois, WY)
WWA is pleased to re-introduce Sarah Walker back to the WWA team in a new role as policy coordinator. This position will monitor and address threats to Wyoming’s remaining wild roadless areas across the state. Sarah will work with WWA organizers, members and statewide partners to identify critical opportunities to engage the public and decision makers in protecting Wyoming’s wildlands. Sarah has a Master’s in Natural Resources from UW and brings a wealth of NEPA and public lands experience to the team. She also served as the Shoshone wildlands organizer in our Dubois office from 2012 to 2016. Most recently, Sarah founded the non-profit partner Friends of the Bridger-Teton, where she gained a greater understanding of the challenges our land managers face today in our shared mission to protect public wildlands.
Lauren Marsh (Lander, WY)
BLM Wildlands Organizer
Growing up in the suburbs of Alabama, Lauren’s initial concept of public lands stemmed from family camping trips at local state parks and a vague notion of the National Park Service. Post-bachelor’s degree, Lauren drove out west to work for the Bureau of Land Management conducting habitat restoration for desert tortoise in the far reaches of the Mojave Desert. She has been in love with these landscapes ever since; the more rugged the better! Following her time in the Mojave, Lauren dove heart-first into a 10-plus year career of stewarding western wildlands, primarily as a wilderness & climbing ranger crew lead for the US Forest Service in Washington’s southern Cascades, and recently she comes to us from the realm of special use permitting on the Bridger-Teton National Forest in which she has been developing programmatic efficiencies to provide space for creatively addressing conflicts between public demands and natural resource protection. Lauren is excited to bring her love of wilderness together with her love for deserts and high plains landscapes in her new role for WWA. Off-the clock you can find Lauren following elk tracks, trying not to fall off her bike on technical descents, or reaching desperately for that next climbing hold, and generally spending as much time as she can with her partner Brian and their three dogs Kai, Millie, and Thea.
Bill Voigt - President
Tyler McLaughlin - Vice President
Brett Governanti - Secretary
Mila Stender - Treasurer
Bart Koehler - Advisory Council
Dr. Dennis Knight, Board Emeritus
On Friday, April 30th, the WWA board celebrated with an informal zoom cocktail hour to honor
and welcome the newly appointed emeritus status of Dr. Dennis Knight. For over a decade,
Dennis served on the WWA governing council, leading with a wealth of knowledge, good humor
and thoughtful perspectives. A special message from surprise guest speaker Ed Zahnhiser
added to the celebratory mood of the evening.