A Talk on the Wild Side.
Back in 1964, some forward-thinking folks realized that “wild life” doesn’t just mean plants and animals. It also means the land that this country and its plants and animals have called home for hundreds of years.
With that in mind, Congress passed, and President Lyndon Johnson signed on Sept. 3, 1964, the Wilderness Act to protect some of the country’s wild lands, making the United States the first country to conserve wilderness areas through law.
Esetuk glacier, Mollie Beattie Wilderness, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. (Photo: wilderness.net)
Our Deputy Director, Rowan Gould, is signing a Memorandum of Understanding today acknowledging that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will take part in events to mark the Act’s 50th anniversary.
But what exactly is wilderness?
It’s not the city park or any overgrown area. Not even all National Wildlife Refuges qualify as wilderness. The Act itself defines wilderness as an area “where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.”
Wilderness is the land as our ancestors and their ancestors saw it – undeveloped, untamed and untrammeled.
Four federal agencies oversee all wilderness:
Here are some other facts about wilderness under Fish and Wildlife Service stewardship:
For more info on public/private partnerships and wilderness heritage, check out wilderness.net.