Category Archives: Wilderness Act of 1964

The pledge of wildlands

Jose’s pledge:

I am for wilderness.

I’m for protecting the places close to my home and close to my heart.

I’m for rugged mountains and pristine forests.

I’m for cleaner air and water.

I’m for protecting wildlife habitat and species.

I’m for keeping our wild heritage alive.

Wilderness makes me happy, helps my community and protects the environment — and I want a better future for the wild places I love.

I am for wilderness. Are you?

– Jose Arroyo

Idaho hunters kill 96 wolves

At last count, that is. And Idaho Fish and Game officials in Boise get to tally up the hunting and trapping license revenue, cause that’s how the agency’s budget gets its m0ney (mostly). Meantime, the increasingly muddied ecosystems which gray wolves patrol (regardless of political boundary lines) struggle on. The human propensity for killing carnivores is alive and well. The first near-extinction of Canis lupus didn’t teach enough. Sadly, I know for certain that are conservationists in the Adirondacks who continue to advocate for the return of big predators to that still-mostly-wild region. This link offers a snapshot of the wolf-killing ongoing in Idaho.

A leader is honored for leaving the land alone

This, my latest newspaper column, is a look back at Frank Church and an ex0ploration of saving places for the wildness.

Quote of the week

“Wilderness, above all its definitions and uses, is sacred space,
with sacred powers, the heart of a moral world.

– conservation writer and veteran Michael Frome

Greedheads’ bill would eviscerate Wilderness Act of 1964

We just received this message from our friends at Wilderness Watch and hope you will read about the bill and take immediate action to oppose it:

Dear friends of Wilderness,

I have been a wilderness activist for more than 30 years.

Never in that time has a bill been introduced—let alone pass in the House of Representatives—that would do so much harm to Wilderness. H.R. 4089, which passed the House of Representatives on April 17 not only allows destructive activities like road building, logging and ATV use that would destroy the physical characteristics of designated Wilderness, H.R. 4089 places its crosshairs on the foundational underpinnings of the Wilderness Act and its definition of Wilderness—“as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man…retaining its primeval character and influence…which is protected and managed so as to preserve its natural conditions.” Howard Zahniser, the author of the Wilderness Act, described these words as “the definitive meaning of the concept of wilderness, its essence, its essential character.”

It is this essential character of wilderness that the supporters of HR 4089 seek to destroy. We have to stop them. Please send a letter today and please help us spread the word. It may well be the most important letter you will ever write on behalf of Wilderness. Thank you.

– George Nickas, Executive Director, Wilderness Watch.

HR 4089 would give hunting, fishing, shooting, and fish and wildlife management top priority in Wilderness, rather than protecting the wilderness character and wilderness values, as is currently the case. This bill would allow endless, extensive habitat manipulations in Wilderness under the guise of “wildlife conservation” or for providing hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting experiences. It would allow the construction of roads to facilitate such uses, and would allow the construction of dams, buildings, or other structures within Wildernesses.

My friend Dave Foreman – a wilderness warrior of long standing, has the whole sordid tale posted on the Web site of The Rewilding Institute, of which he is director. Read it here.

The most special of all places: Wilderness

If you’re in the Adirondacks of New York State, you can visit state-designated wilderness like that behind this Department of Environmental Conservation placard a dozen or so miles from the Olympic village of Lake Placid. That’s right, New York State has a state-level wilderness protection program. As far as I now it is the only state to have its own such program. Most designated wilderness (and every acre is just so important) in the U.S. was so designated by Congress through the Wilderness Act of 1964. The more wilderness, the better.

Edward Abbey: A voice in the wilderness

Be sure and turn your speakers on before opening this video link. Great show.