Showing posts from July, 2014

Environmental Issues: Are Protected Wilderness Areas Still "Wilderness" in an Era of Climate Change?

"In order to assure that an increasing population, accompanied by expanding settlement and growing mechanization, does not occupy and modify all areas within the United States... leaving no lands designated for preservation and protection in their natural condition, it is hereby declared to be the policy of the Congress to secure for the American people of present and future generations the benefits of an enduring resource of wilderness." These are the opening lines of the Wilderness Act of 1964, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.  This crucial act has protected 110 million acres of designated wilderness in the United States.

Although there are 618 million acres of federal wildlands, only a portion of those are protected as wilderness; areas described in the Wilderness Act as being places "where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain... an area of undeveloped land retaining its primev…