Viva Las Wilderness! by William Huggins
Viva Las Wilderness
When I moved to southern Nevada in 1992, I never thought I might be heading into my third decade in the Silver State. It took me about a year to adjust to Vegas’ weirdness, and what made that possible was simple: wilderness.
At a meeting several years ago I heard an activist from San Francisco comment that Las Vegas was the ultimate urban wilderness. He’s absolutely correct. Nowhere else in the contiguous United States will you find such a vast acreage of open public space literally right on the edge of town. It is the single best thing about living here.
When I’m out in one of our protected areas I’m always amazed that there are so few people taking advantage of this opportunity. The diligent work of a hardcore group of wilderness lovers created something unique and magical. If this were California or Utah, I believe the trails would be crammed. On the one hand I appreciate being able to find such solitude; on the other I worry that without sustained support what is so wonderful about these places may not only be ignored by the masses that live here but could even be taken for granted, which would be tragic.
As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Wilderness Act, we should not allow ourselves to be idle in our advocacy. This is the work of generations. My wife and I have already had our 1-year old on several excursions, hoping that she will take to the wild as we have. For without those small booted feet exploring these areas, who will take up the torch when it comes time to celebrate the legislation turning 100?
-William Huggins, Las Vegas, NV