Interagency Wilderness Policy Council

The Wilderness Act is one of the nation’s most important pieces of conservation law. The Act established a National Wilderness Preservation System (NWPS) to be administered by federal land management agencies. Management of wilderness is complex and requires careful stewardship by each of the agencies.

Leaders from the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Bureau of Land Management (BLM), National Park Service (NPS), and U.S. Geological Service Biological Resources Division (USGS BRD) have frequently promoted increased interagency wilderness cooperation and coordination. Their efforts have included an interagency Strategic Plan for Wilderness and inauguration of an interagency steering committee. Improved interagency cooperation resulted in the development of the concept of a broader council to address wilderness issues. In June 1999 the Chief of the Forest Service called a meeting with the heads of the other wilderness management agencies, and all agreed that establishment of Interagency Wilderness Policy Council was in the best interest of the wilderness resource, the wilderness management agencies, and the taxpayers of the United States.

Consequently, the Interagency Wilderness Policy Council was established to improve interagency coordination in administering the Wilderness Act, thereby enhancing protection and management of the nation’s wilderness to benefit present and future generations. Establishment of the Council is consistent with the intent of the Wilderness Act as well as the National Performance Review objective of creating a more efficient government. The Council consists of policy level representatives of the four wilderness management agencies and research representatives from the Forest Service and the Department of Interior. The Council works with other agencies, institutions, interest groups, and the public as needed to address specific issues.

Council Members


Chair: Tom Heinlein
Acting Assistant Director, National Conservation Lands and Community Partnerships
Bureau of Land Management

Cynthia Martinez
Chief, National Wildlife Refuge System
US Fish and Wildlife Service

Katherine “Katie” Armstrong
Director, Wilderness and Wild & Scenic Rivers Program
USDA Forest Service

Jennifer Flynn
Associate Director, Visitor & Resource Protection
National Park Service


Kenli Kim
Acting Director, Landscape Restoration and Ecosystem Services Research
USDA Forest Service, Research and Development

Guy Adema
Deputy Associate Director, Natural Resource Stewardship and Science
National Park Service

Zachary Bowen
Landscape Program Coordinator, Ecosystems Mission Area
U.S. Geological Survey