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SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE

     There isn’t any doubt about the scientific evidence; human activities are fundamentally altering the earth (The Royal Society and The National Academy of Sciences, 2013). Wilderness designations and other pursuits of ecosystem preservation seek to protect the biosphere for the benefit of all Americans.

Although the pursuit of scientific evidence is not a political act, there are various American politicians that seek to discredit the knowledge cultivated through scientific inquiry for political reasons. Notably, this fact is apparent when the knowledge gained would lead to the institution of new policies restricting the profits of polluter’s and various other corporate factions that produce toxic ecological consequences through economic activities that place the value of individual profit, over a healthy planet for all life.

Natural scientists understand that life supports life itself (World Wildlife Foundation, 2016). As the planet enters a new era described as “Anthropocene”, humanity has become the driving force behind many of today’s planetary changes (Kaye, 2014). The coming ecological result of this production will hinge upon a greater human acceptance or rejection of the prevailing scientific evidence.

WILDERNESS STEWARDSHIP IN THE ANTHROPOCENE

     A future American landscape preserved of a lasting wilderness resource is not certain. Anthropogenic changes to the biosphere as a result of modern human activities are expected to continue increasing in severity. As we enter into the “Anthropocene”, various new challenges to wilderness preservation values will be presented and will demand that future land use decisions be primed by our understanding of science (Kaye, 2014).

Final policy decisions will be made in the political and social field, after other factors are also investigated. Tradeoffs are inevitable and difficult decisions will be required. The challenge ahead necessitates continued American support for the wilderness idea and the values that accompany this concept.  While at risk, present support for wilderness idea remains strong among Americans. 

While it may not be possible to predict future conditions of our American wildlands, planning to preserve wild places, including all lands designated by the Wilderness Act, is an important issue and continues to require careful consideration. The risks involved in a failure to plan could potentially to be devastating. When we lose the “wild” in wilderness, we lose it forever.

Maintaining wilderness stewardship programs seeking to perpetuate the wildness that still remains, are crucial to upholding the goals and the purpose of the original Wilderness Act. Especially in the evolving and changing environment that we live in today. Because of the ambiguity present, scientifically supported and comprehensively investigated policies for land use and climate change topics will be essential to maintaining successful stewardship initiatives.  

References

Kaye, R. (2014). What Future for the Wildness of Wilderness in the Anthropocene? Alaska Park Science – Volume 13 Issue 1: Wilderness in Alaska, 40-45. https://www.nps.gov/articles/aps-v13-i1-c9.htm

The Royal Society and The National Academy of Sciences. (2013). Climate Change Evidence and Causes.  http://dels.nas.edu/resources/static-assets/exec-office-other/climate-change-full.pdf

World Wildlife Foundation. (2016). Living Planet Report. http://awsassets.panda.org/downloads/lpr_living_planet_report_2016.pdf

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