Wilderness Act

  • The Buffalo Horn drainage in the Gallatin Range is one of the most important wildlife areas in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Photo George Wuerthner  The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is the last major relatively intact temperate-zone ecosystem in the world.  It is a global heritage. There are organizations like the Montana Wilderness Association (MWA), The Wilderness…

  • Cattle grazing Mojave National Preserve, CA. Photo by George Wuerthner The 1964 Wilderness Act requires federal agencies to protect and manage designated wilderness areas “to preserve its natural conditions.” Given that all domestic livestock are exotic alien animals and hardly contribute to “natural conditions,” one might assume that livestock production would be prohibited in designated…

  • Recently there has been a spate of commentaries advocating collaboration as a means of resolving issues surrounding which public lands should be given the “Gold Standard” of wilderness protection under the 1964 Wilderness Act. Advocates of collaboration, including some representatives of Montana’s various conservation organizations, argue that only collaboration can “resolve” the issues in today’s…

  • Montana has a wilderness deficit. People may be surprised to learn that only 3.4 million acres out of the state’s nearly 94 million acres are congressionally designated wilderness under the 1964 Wilderness Act. There are at least 6.3 million more U.S. Forest Service acres that potentially could be designated as wilderness, as well as additional…

  • In recent years it has become fashionable for conservationists to substitute and promote other land classification in place of wilderness designation. Wilderness is “passé” so we are told, even though it is the “gold standard” for land protection. In a recent white paper, The Wilderness Society outlined some of these alternatives such as National Recreation…

  • My title may seem excessively harsh by some groups who are doing what they believe is the best way to protect public lands from industrial development. However, when you consider that we have only 2.7% of the lower 48 states in designated wilderness, while at the same time there are calls from many ecologists to…

  • Idaho Must Destroy Data Obtained From Illegal Elk and Wolf Collaring  POCATELLO, Idaho – A federal judge today ruled that the U.S. Forest Service illegally authorized the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) to conduct approximately 120 helicopter landings to place radio collars on elk in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness last…

  • Wilderness Act of 1964 was the beginning of statutory protection of wild country- It took seven years to move the Wilderness Act through Congress, but finally in 1964 it passed and President Lyndon Johnson signed the bill into law.  While some Forest Service lands had already been administratively protected as a kind of backcountry called…

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