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Political Responsibility

     The Wilderness Act (PL 88-577) directs us to consider wilderness as a place where “the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man” (Wilderness Act, 1964). The complexities involved in maintaining this directive are growing and require a careful path forward to sustain lasting preservation.

The final responsibility for policies upholding statutory protections to protect our wilderness resource in the United State, rest at the political level. For this reason, political attacks questioning climate change science, federal land ownership, and established regulations preserving the wildness within the National Wilderness Preservation System (NWPS), threaten to someday unravel a permanently enduring resource of wilderness for the American people.

     Fundamentally, all wildernesses maintained from the establishment of the NWPS, depend on the statutory restrictions for various modern activities, including the use of contemporary tools and technology. The increasing dysfunction occurring at the political level, places the protections required to maintain the wild in wilderness, in a perilous state. The consequences of conceding acceptance of political polarization among the American public, is an unnerving notion to contemplate. Despite these concerns the current path forward isn’t irreversible. 


Wilderness Act, 78 Stat. 890. (US Congress September 3, 1964)

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