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On a rainy Seattle day in September 1979, a group of friends gathered at the College Inn Pub where Karen Fant first proposed the concept of the Washington Wilderness Coalition (WWC). After a few more drinks and passing around a hat yielding $7 for the organization’s treasury, Karen and Ken Gersten officially became the first two volunteer staff for the WWC and set to work. 

After 45 years and a name change, Washington Wild is still here, working to educate, empower, and mobilize our communities to protect our wild lands and waters for all. Today, there are 31 Wilderness areas in Washington, covering approximately 4.3 million acres. Of those, Washington Wild has had a hand in protecting nearly 3 million acres—from the 1.7 million acres as part of the Washington State Parks Wilderness Act of 1988 to the 106,000 acres in the Wild Sky Wilderness in 2008—and more At the core of that mission, and ultimately what determines our success, is Washington Wild’s ability to build diverse partnerships and coalitions. But don’t just take our word for it—hear from the incredible folks we work alongside every day…